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From refugee camps to gated communities: biopolitics and the end of the city1

From refugee camps to gated communities: biopolitics and the end of the city1 The article addresses the situation of the asylum seeker as an instantiation of the ‘homo sacer’, the ultimate biopolitical subject whose life is stripped of cultural and political forms. The focus is on the socio‐spatial mechanisms that immobilize asylum seekers in ‘non‐places’ such as accommodation centers in which they lead a life in a permanent state of exception and detention centers into which they are forced without trial. To offer a systematic account of this immobilization the article elaborates on the concept of the camp. It then moves on to discuss some significant convergences between refugee spaces and other more desirable contemporary ‘camps’ (for example, gated communities) that problematize the notions of the city and politics. To conclude, the consequences of the ‘camp’ as a form of positive power as well as restriction of freedom are discussed, relating this to a discussion of the ‘end of the city’ and the (im)possibilities of resistance to or ‘escape’ from camps. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Citizenship Studies Taylor & Francis

From refugee camps to gated communities: biopolitics and the end of the city1

Citizenship Studies , Volume 8 (1): 24 – Mar 1, 2004
24 pages

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References (82)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1469-3593
eISSN
1362-1025
DOI
10.1080/1362102042000178373
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The article addresses the situation of the asylum seeker as an instantiation of the ‘homo sacer’, the ultimate biopolitical subject whose life is stripped of cultural and political forms. The focus is on the socio‐spatial mechanisms that immobilize asylum seekers in ‘non‐places’ such as accommodation centers in which they lead a life in a permanent state of exception and detention centers into which they are forced without trial. To offer a systematic account of this immobilization the article elaborates on the concept of the camp. It then moves on to discuss some significant convergences between refugee spaces and other more desirable contemporary ‘camps’ (for example, gated communities) that problematize the notions of the city and politics. To conclude, the consequences of the ‘camp’ as a form of positive power as well as restriction of freedom are discussed, relating this to a discussion of the ‘end of the city’ and the (im)possibilities of resistance to or ‘escape’ from camps.

Journal

Citizenship StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Mar 1, 2004

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