Martina Tazzioli is a postdoctoral researcher in the Mediterranean Sociology Laboratory (LAMES/ LabexMed) at the University of Aix-Marseille and Research Assistant at Queen Mary University of London. She received a Ph.D. in Politics from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of Spaces of Governmentality: Autonomous Migration and the Arab Uprisings (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), co-author of Tunisia as a Revolutionized Space of Migration (Palgrave-Pivot, 2016), co-editor of Spaces in Migration: Postcards of a Revolution (Pavement Press, 2013), and co-editor of Foucault and the History of Our Present (Palgrave, 2015). She is also part of the editorial board of the journal Materialifoucaultiani (www.materialifoucaultiani.org
The biopolitics of borders in the Mediterranean: the logistics of migration data and the hotspot on the move
The ongoing “refugee” crisis in the Mediterranean blatantly reveals the crisis of the EU border regime. European states are responding to the presence of migrants stranded at the borders of Europe through techniques of capture and filtering and mechanisms of containment. The former are encapsulated in the “hotspot system” – that is the opening of detention centres by the EU on Greek and Italian islands for selecting in the quickest way between “genuine refugees” and “economic migrants”. The latter consist in military operations to block migrants at sea (Eunavfor Med-Sophia and the NATO operation in the Aegean). The current Mediterranean context of “crisis” provides us with analytical lens for investigating the productivity of borders from two specific angles: the biopolitical and the spatial. From the viewpoint of biopolitics, the presentation explores the ways in which borders get a hold on migrant crossings and livesin order to capitalise on human mobility without narrowing it to the economy of illegality. The biopolitics of borders is conceived here, firstly, in terms of the logistics of data capture and data sharing generated at and through the border; and secondly, in terms of the production of new governable populations. From the standpoint of spatial transformation, the presentation considers the mobility of borders and their temporary character – that is the techniques of capture and control (at sea and on land) that are put into place for chasing up migrants or what I call the “hotspot on the move”.