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The silent backdrop: Colonial anxiety at the border

Carver, Natasha 2019. The silent backdrop: Colonial anxiety at the border. Journal of Historical Sociology 32 (2) , pp. 154-172. 10.1111/johs.12238

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Through the categorization of movers, states determine and fix the belonging of migrants and thereby reproduce the nation‐state system as a global reality. Some movers, however, are deemed illegible and must be identified, labelled and thus brought within the system. This paper unpicks the legal consequences of a “coloniality of power” (Quijano, 2000) embedded within the border system as a whole. The paper demonstrates this process through a post‐colonial examination of Somali migration and the application of the 1951 Refugee Convention at the UK border. The Somali migrant, like his colonized predecessor, is constructed as an unreliable informant of him/herself; a “lying native” (Bhabha, 1994) whose identity can be ‘discovered’ by the tools of the enlightened West.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0952-1909
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 02:06

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