Irregular migrants complicate the boundaries of citizenship and
stretch the parameters of political belonging. Comprised of
refugees, asylum seekers, "illegal" labor migrants, and stateless
persons, this group of migrants occupies new sovereign spaces that
generate new subjectivities. Investigating the role of irregular
migrants in the transformation of citizenship, Anne McNevin argues
that irregular status is an immanent (rather than aberrant)
condition of global capitalism, formed by the fast-tracked
processes of globalization.
McNevin casts irregular migrants as more than mere victims of
sovereign power, shuttled from one location to the next.
Incorporating examples from the United States, Australia, and
France, she shows how migrants reject their position as "illegal"
outsiders and make claims on the communities in which they live and
work. For these migrants, outsider status operates as both a mode
of subjectification and as a site of active resistance, forcing
observers to rethink the enactment of citizenship. McNevin connects
irregular migrant activism to the complex rescaling of the
neoliberal state. States increasingly prioritize transnational
market relations that disrupt the spatial context for citizenship.
At the same time, states police their borders in ways that
reinvigorate territorial identities. Mapping the broad dynamics of
political belonging in a neoliberal era, McNevin provides
invaluable insight into the social and spatial transformation of
citizenship, sovereignty, and power.
Subjects: Political Science, Law
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