Barbara Beznec Migrations and the Lateral Spaces of Citizenship



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ČASOPIS ZA KRITIKO ZNANOSTI, NO. 238/2009: ABSTRACTS


Barbara Beznec

Migrations and the Lateral Spaces of Citizenship
With the end of colonialism, the absolute temporal and territorial borders which, in the colonial constitution, separated the citizen from the colonial subject, have been fragmented and reconstituted within the metropolises of the former colonies and their satellites. We are witnessing a sort of rearticulation of colonial law, whereby the principal of universality of legal norms does not apply to all persons within a given territory, but is based on the »quality of the individual«. This transformation of the geographic space, which is the result of the mutual application of various forms of private, national, and supernational domopolitics, can be understood as the multiplication of multi-layer »laterals«: the lateral spaces of production and citizenship which break up the concept of the homogenizing power of capital in conditions of neoliberal globalization. At the same time, the countless movements described in this article, such as Svet za vsakogar (A World for Everyone) and Nevidni delavci sveta (Invisible Workers of the World), reveal the outlines of a constitution of citizenship which exists and is being developed regardless of formal legal statutes, and which constitutes the open, constantly changing constitutive process of an emerging political entity.
Key words: European citizenship, post-colonial constitution, laterals, domopolitics, citizenship practice

Polona Mozetič

Invisible Workers of the World: Employment and Work of the »Uneuropean« Citizens of Third Countries and the Regime of Workers Dormitories

Author analyses legal and other aspects of the politics of economic migration and the role of the regime of workers dormitories within it. The mechanisms of control and mobilization of workers and the selective limitation of their life potential constitute a complex apparatus of migration management. In Slovenia, the combination of the regime and practice of the allowance of work permits and permits for temporal residence, is the key mechanism of directing workers from third countries to the secondary labor market. The interconnection between work and residence is manifest in the regime of workers dormitories. They are inhabited mainly by workers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, that work in labor intensive and low paid occupations on construction sites in extremely bad working conditions. Although workers dormitories are a mechanism of spatial segregation of workers, they can not be explained with the concept of the ghetto. The sector of construction needs a highly mobile work force with seasonal or ephemeral character, that can be easily transferred from one work site to another. Workers dormitories are fulfilling these need. Through fusion of work time and free time, which is characteristic for postfordist workers, they can effectively link the precarity and mobility of work with precarity and mobility of accomodation. Workers dormitories are a disciplinary dispozitif with the goal to create a meek and unorganized work force.

Key words: migration politics, circular migration, employment and work of migrants, work permits, labor market, segmentation of labor market, workers dormitories, ghetto, postfordism

Andrej Kurnik

Militant Research, Biounionism and Subjectivity of Migrant Workers
Every form of domination should be analyzed by addressing subjectivity. Same goes for exploitation of migrant workers and their subjectivity. For this reason dispozitifs that identify subjectivity and intervene into its production are necessary. Initiative called IWW (Invisible Workers of the World) developed two dispozitifs of such type, militant research and biounionism. Both allow us to understand forms of domination, that are in the making in regimes of control over migration, as dynamic categories that involve resistances. Subjectivity is therefore defined by antagonism, on the basis of which we can build the project of radical transformation of the world. In this sense we can define the paradigmatic character of migration in postfordist regime of exploitation. Militant investigation and biounionism that are in the first place tools of organizing, collided with dominant civil society forms of organization. Those frictions also provided elements for critique of contemporary forms of governability and alternative political strategies. To be able to develop the latter new dispozitifs of movements and institutions of movements have to be formed.
Key words: subjectivity, militant research, biounionism, protagonism, dispozitif, migrant workers, alterglobalization movements.

Polona Mozetič


»How did Workers Dormitories Survive the Transition?« From Social-Protective Institutions to Institutions of Migration Politics
Author analyses the role of workers dormitories in the socialist Yugoslavia and its shifting in the process of transformation of the political and economic environment after the collapse of Yugoslavia and the entrance of Slovenia in the EU. In the Yugoslav system of internal migration the workers from other Yugoslav republics were citizens with equal rights. In the socialist system workers dormitories had a social-protective function, since they provided a short term and transitory accommodation for workers from other republics, until they received a social apartment. Today workers, coming from the states of former Yugoslavia, have the status of foreign workers from third countries, that can normally be employed only in deficient jobs. In the system of inter-state migration workers dormitories became an unofficial instrument of the politics of economic migration, that enacts the goal of circular migration and optimal economic exploitation. There is a formal possibility of choice between different forms of accommodation for workers from third countries. But this formal possibility is only virtual. The public abomination concerning the living conditions in workers dormitories led to an idea of creating a set of minimal standards for them. This and similar humanitarian initiatives for the improvement of the working and living conditions for migrant workers will probably not have the desirable effects, if they are not supplemented with the destruction of mechanisms that produce the strong systemic subjugation of workers from third countries.
Key words: economic migration, internal migration, citizens of third countries, workers dormitories, transition, privatization of real estate, minimal standards for workers dormitories

Andrea Olivieri


Ethnicity and Class in the Thoughts of Louis Adamič
At a time of a kind of war against immigrants that reveals capital’s dramatic attempt to stop up every possibility of escape, the work of the Slovene American writer Louis Adamič is acquiring a new significance. The common thread for the author of the text is reading Adamič through the class/ethnicism conceptual pair. The article examines Adamič’s opus through events that shed light on class struggle in America, the key protagonists of which were immigrants. It also discusses Adamič’s analysis of the question of immigrant identity and a common American identity. It describes Adamič’s conception of America, in which Plymouth Rock, Ellis Island, and the first slave ships from Jamestown play a key role, and which is inseparably linked to the construction of a just society free of exploitation.
Key words: Louis Adamič, ethnicity, Invisible Workers of the World, Americanism, syndicalism

Polona Mozetič

Multiplication of Border: Vanishing Border, Increased Control

Border control is a significant part of migration management. There are huge investments in various manifestations of borders in order to restrain and quash undocumented migration. External borders are reinforced with high technology, fences and police presence. Due to the realization that external and fix border control is not sufficient, the mechanisms of control are expanded into the interior of the state. Those aspects of borders that act as mechanisms of selection of mobility of particular populations are multiplying. The expansion of border control into the interior of the state collides with the right to privacy. If we except the notion, that migration is a social movement, even resistance against a given situation of political domination and economic exploitation, then we can understand the mechanisms of selection of migration – and in this context also of control and persecution of undocumented migration – as a reflection of an existing, historically and culturally conditioned deployment of power.

Key words: border, privacy, border control, Schengen, undocumented migrations, society of control

Mojca Pajnik

Migrants without Citizenship and the Right to Have Rights
The consolidation of nation states, which lends legitimacy to the nation by establishing national governments and mapping out territorial sovereignty, serves to define an ideologeme in which nations without national emancipation are robed of human rights. The universal and cosmopolitan moment of human rights is lost through the realization of nation states, in oscillations between the paradigm of liberal individualism and national sovereignty. This text addresses the question of how to convincingly think of human rights as political rights that would not be left to the whims of national elites: migrants, asylum seekers, and the erased have shown that the loss of national rights is, at the same time, the loss of human rights. Through a discussion of the right to have rights, which, according to Hannah Arendt, means belonging to a political community, the text problematizes the overlapping of human and national rights using the example of people without citizenship. Robbed of the right to have rights, these persons find themselves outside the concept of human rights. The right to have rights is viewed as a prerequisite for the realization of human rights. Taking migration as an example, the text deals with select problems from the field of human rights – the problem of people without citizenship, the problem of passive citizenship and the alienation of human rights, the problem of social rights – and strives to resuscitate the political aspect of rights.

Key words: human rights, national rights, the right to have rights, lack of citizenship, Arendt, migration, asylum


Simona Jazbinšek and Tina Palaić

Health: A Human Right? International Protection Seekers
This text is based on an in-depth field study conducted in the first half of 2008. It presents arrangements for protecting the health of international protection seekers in Slovenia, and expresses concern about the conditions and possibilities for accessing health care services for asylum seekers. The authors present differing interpretations of legal stipulations and take a critical look at the implementation of legislation in practice. They focus closely on the role of the nurse employed at the Asylum Centre and on interpretations of emergency medical care. The text uses examples to attempt to point out the systematic doubt that accompanies the treatment of asylum seekers, the subjective dimension of employees in determining entitlement to health care, and various attempts to limit access to health care services. The question that they arrive at is: Is health really a basic human right?
Key words: international protection seekers, health care, human rights, emergency medical assistance


Sonja Zlobko, Katja Uran, Jože Rupnik

»We have to teach them basic lessons«

Events regarding the international protection seekers (public exposure of asylum seekers, demands for the improvement of conditions inside institutions for international protection) in the year 2008 have been accompanied with a high degree of nationalism. Public forums and media in general have been full of discussions that mainly constructed a perception of radical otherness of the international protection seekers. Article is focused on this construction of otherness that is being formed on the state level. This otherness is most obvious in the period that international protection seekers spend in uninterrupted contacts with state institutions, that have decisive impact on their live (deportation, naturalization). The basis of the interviews performed with international protection seekers, employees of the Sector for integration and the Sector for international protection (Asylum home), is the process of integration and the analysis of different laws and provisions regarding international protection. The process of decoupling of the Slovene society and migrants is enacted through various components of integration. Authors analyze two of them, which have been emphasized in the interviews – the economic component of the process of integration and language learning. They are both strongly marked with general Slovene norms, that are constructed by the state.

Key words: international protection seekers, integration, otherness

Barbara Beznec and Andrej Kurnik

Resident Alien: Rog’s Experiences on the Margin
The reopening of the abandoned Rog bicycle factory as a place of independent cultural, social, political production constituted a spatial, and consequently political, intervention. The project of reviving a complex that had fallen into disrepair in the center of Ljubljana was a response to the crisis that had befallen autonomous and independent creative spaces because of the »disembowelment« of the civil society project of the 1980s. It also constituted a critique of the emergence of new economic practices that take art, culture, and activism as raw material for wealth creation. As a »bothersome« social reality that interprets the freedom to create in a free space, liberated Rog intervenes in the process of the emergence of new cultural-artistic institutions and their subordination to the service of the logic of profit. Two years into its renewal, the owner of the factory, the Municipality of Ljubljana, blocked all attempts for its subversive integration. Since then, Rog has been playing the role of a center for emerging urban social tissue that surpasses the segmentation and segregation dictated by the city-enterprise.

Key words: spatiality, temporary use, gentrification, precarization, cognitariat, community on the margin



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