CfP: “European Makings of “Good” and “Bad” Refugees: Contestations of the Right to Have Rights

The IUAES 2020 Congress invites contributions to the panel “European Makings of “Good” and “Bad” Refugees: Contestations of the Right to Have Rights”.

Panel Abstract

While the sense of crisis and emergency in Europe concerning the Syrian refugee crisis has wavered, the figure and presence of migrants and refugees keep playing a significant role in European politics and policies, public imagery and self-positioning. Scholars have pointed at the construction of hierarchies of “deserving” people in need and differentiations between “good” and “bad” refugees (Mavelli and Wilson, 2017). Such rankings in the political, popular and public imaginary are often connected to gendered and religious status and particular ideas about agency and victimhood. While certain categories such as “the persecuted Christian”, “mother and child” and refugees “waiting in camps” are considered favourable, others are considered less favourable, for instance when refugees take matters into their own hands by crossing the Mediterranean. These perceptions may be at odds with or challenge existing (inter)national migratory legislation such as the Geneva Convention. This panel aims to examine localized and contextualized representations of biopolitical hierarchies of the deserving and not deserving of “the right to have rights” (De Gooyer et al., 2018). We are particularly interested in European political and social practices and articulations. The panel aims to interrogate the processes through which figures of the deserving and undeserving are constructed, politically legitimized and possibly translated into legislation. We welcome contributions from scholars working in the fields of migration and refugee studies, public, political and state anthropology, legal anthropology and on topics of media and public debate and right-wing populism.

Deadline for submissions of proposals: 23 March 2020

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