Affective Borderscapes : Constructing, Enacting and Contesting Borders across the Southeastern Mediterranean

Sammanfattning: In the wake of a sociopolitically volatile era, which is increasingly characterized by the intensive and extensive proliferation of borders, the management of borders and migration are considered as predominantly rational and dispassionate processes. Their functions and filtering mechanisms, however, are increasingly underpinned by the instrumental top-down exertion of affective power and by the cultivation of emotional dispositions among political communities. At the same time, compliance to- or contestation of these forces also manifests ‘from below’ through transgressive patterns of human mobilities and mobilisations around borders, which are similarly affectively-driven. This Ph.D. dissertation examines the impact of various actors’ affective practices on the construction, enactment and contestation of affective borderscapes in the southeastern Mediterrane-an and its Aegean appendix, and explores how those processes manifest and link up at multiple scales across space and time from a perspective that accounts for the affective dimensions of border regimes aside from their legal, infrastructural and political causes and consequences. Through long-term ethnographic engagement with communities and individuals that have been passing through or inhabiting several locations along the much-fraught Aegean borders in times of major socioeconomic and geopolitical upheaval, this thesis formulates and puts forth the concept of affective borderscapes. They are liminal, overlapping landscapes that function as contact zones and as charged fields of affective interaction between assemblages of animate and inanimate actors. As an original contribution to border and migration studies, this concept bears great potential for the acquisition and mobilisation of knowledge, as well as for the design and application of human-centered policy and practice.

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