Contemporary Politics of Belonging and Everyday Bordering

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 18:00
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Nira YUVAL-DAVIS, University of East London, United Kingdom
The summer of 2015 has seen a major European political and humanitarian crisis, emanating out the growing number of migrants reaching and moving into Europe from Middle eastern and other Southern countries. This crisis reflects a major global, regional and national multi-layered crisis of governability and governmentality. In this paper, however, I am focusing on one particular facet of this crisis, that of everyday bordering as a growing part of everyday social fabric of society as a whole. I argue that everyday bordering has become a major technology of control of both social diversity and discourses on diversity, in a way that threatens to undermine the convivial co-existence of pluralist societies, especially in metropolitan cities. Although this paper focuses on Britain, especially London, such tendencies have been developing in all immigration societies, especially since the drive for securitisation following the events of 9/11 in 2001. My argument, however, is that one cannot understand these developments only as an outcome of securitisation, but rather that they have to be understood as part of a political project of belonging which emerged as a counter narrative to the multiculturalist project dominant in the global North during the 1980’s and 90’s.

The illustrative examples which will be used in the paper are taken from the research project on everyday bordering which I’ve been involved in as part of the EUF7 Borderscapes research project (uel.ac.uk/Borderscapes) and will constitute part of our forthcoming book (n.Yuval-Davis, G. Wemyss & K. Cassidiy, Bordering, Polity Press, 2017). The research methodology of this research used the analytical perspective of situated intersectionality.