How do state agents who guard the Greek and the European border experience the collapse of the border? Why are people committed to performing bureaucratic procedures they consider irregular and futile? When does the UNHCR “become” the state? What does it mean to “work for Europe?” This paper is concerned with how the lived experiences of people governing irregular migration help us understand broader processes regarding sovereign power and the state. Located at a moment of rupture –the “European migration crisis” and the “Greek crisis”– the paper examines the configurations of sovereignty, and the negotiations, collaborations and overlapping authorities between state, supra-state, and non-state agents. Sovereign power is performed through irregularity, powerlessness and disorder. Such elements of governing have been explored by anthropologists especially in regard to their effects on marginal populations. Yet, this paper will interrogate how they are experienced in everyday life not by the people who receive sovereign power, but by the people who perform it.
Katerina Rozakou is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include political anthropology, humanitarianism, volunteerism, the state, bureaucracy and migration. She has done extensive fieldwork on the solidarity with the refugees movement in Greece (2002-2007) and in the last years (2014-2016) she did fieldwork in Athens and Lesvos on the treatment of irregular migrants by state and non-states agents. Her monograph, Out of “love” and “solidarity”: Voluntary work with refugees in early 21st century Greece will appear in February 2018 (in Greek, English translation in preparation). The paper she will present at Oxford is based on a book manuscript in preparation.
Franck Düvell is an Associate Professor and Senior Researcher at COMPAS, primarily working on projects in the Flows and Dynamics, Citizenship and Belonging, and Welfare clusters. He has a PhD in Sociology, and was research fellow at the European University Institute, Florence and the University of Exeter. Prior to coming to COMPAS he was a lecturer in sociology, geography and political science at the Jean Monnet Centre for European Studies (CEuS), University of Bremen and continues to be an associated fellow of CEuS. Franck has worked on irregular immigration, highly skilled migrants, health issues, and aspects of migration politics and management on EU and international level. He also works closely with migrants and refugee rights agencies all over Europe. Currently his projects include work on East West Migration and Transit Migration through Turkey and Ukraine.
Seminar Series: Key issues and developments in South East Europe
Our Hilary 2018 SEESOX seminar series on South East Europe looks at regional developments from a thematic, interdisciplinary and cross-country perspectives and touches upon issues which are at the forefront of the region’s current affairs. We look at South East Europe from international politics, political economy, and/or societal perspectives, by engaging with a selection of topics ranging from the challenges to democracy and free speech, to geopolitics, energy, migration and European integration.
Co-Convenors: Othon Anastasakis, David Madden, Jonathan Scheele (St Antony’s College)