Producing Undesirables at the Border. Border Control Practices at a European Airport | La fabrique des indésirables Pratiques de contrôle aux frontières dans un aéroport européen

Author
Andrew Crosby, Andrea Rea
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Cultures & Conflits
Volume
103
Issue Number
0
Publication Date
Fall, Winter 2016
Institution
Cultures & Conflits
Abstract
Based on empirical research in a European airport, this article analyses how border guards control third-country nationals by advancing an anthropology of the power of border control as exhibited by the use of symbolic violence and discretionary state power. Leaning on the theories of street-level bureaucracies and organizations, we analyze the work practices, professional routines and organization of the work of border guards in order to show how border guards activate and constitute the border and the control of mobility. We argue that control at the airport is based both on the influence of the network-border and on a dramaturgical performance of bureaucratic governance, which is meant to create legitimate travelers and undesirable passengers, while circumventing potential protests of the latter and simulating accountability toward the broader public of citizens. As such, border control is more of a symbolic act than an efficient tool of immigration policy.
Topic
Immigration, Border Control, Borders, Bureaucracy
Political Geography
Europe