Subversion am Rande. Grenzverletzungen im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert
Vol 18 No 1 (2008)
Herausgegeben von Monika Eigmüller und Andreas Müller
Die gesellschaftliche Perzeption von illegaler Migration, Fluchthilfe und Menschenschmuggel in und nach Mitteleuropa
There is a gap between the structure of trans-national illegal migration and its perception within predominant discourses. The true structure of illegal migration is mainly market-focused and, in spite of popular perceptions, regulated by various actors. However, discourse about migration operates with hysteric use of numbers, perceives migration in terms of criminality, stresses an exploitation of migrants by those helping in crossing the borders, and operates within racist ideologies. This is exemplified by the discursive identification of human smuggling and human trafficking, which de-legitimates and criminalizes escape aid. Migration is, therefore, determined by the paradigms: law, prejudice and market. The first two dominate the migration discourse, and the last structures migration patterns.
The article focuses from a micro-political perspective on the fundamental change taking place within contemporary border regimes. It asks for the political dimensions of the technological upgrading of surveillance and control of the border. It will be demonstrated that the modes of producing security are in no way of homogeneous political nature. Firstly, there is a kind of military-style politics of radical exclusion and walling-off at work, which can be observed in the technology and the aligned institutional and tactical aspects of the SIVE-project. Secondly, border protection, e. g., on airports or at the Eurotunnel operates with step-by-step procedures and a machine-like mode of producing suspicion, seeming to produce a high degree of democratic and liberal legitimacy. Thirdly, with the combination of biometric identification and data bank management the mode of producing security tends to result in authoritarian surveillance and control. However, this in no way is the permanent operational mode of surveillance and control, but it is one control-level within a flexible regime, able to turn rapidly from liberal to authoritarian modes of political regulation.
This article focuses on the idiosyncrasies of airborne borders in the context of civil aviation. While at first glance it seems that crossing borders in an airplane would be much easier than crossing checkpoints in a car or train. We can observe that border control, for example inside the European Union, has been liberalized; however, any domestic city has turned into a border post, given that there is an airport large enough for mid-range aircraft. In fact, with the establishment of passport control in airports and extensive radar control crossing borders in airplanes has become more and more difficult in the course of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries, especially for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Even if, on the one hand, the expansion of civil aviation is an indicator for the liberalization of border-crossing travel, it does on the other hand limit the freedom to travel of those who do not have the “right” passport and citizenship.
Despite the keen interest the social sciences have shown in migration as a form of border transgression, the figure of the stowaway has received surprisingly little critical scrutiny. This paper suggests that the policing of stowaways by sea merits greater attention. Following a brief discussion of the changing problematic of the stowaway, it focuses on one particular aspect of the governance of stowaways: the role of maritime insurance companies and shipping consultants who have made the prevention and resolution of stowaway incidents into a normal part of their business. A focus on the activities of these agents is merited because it allows for a fuller account of the policing of transgressive migratory practices and identities at maritime borders. But this focus also allows for a rethinking of certain key concepts within migration and border studies more broadly. First, it prompts us to revise what we understand by ‘securitization’. To this end the paper highlights the extent to which the securitization of the stowaway involves banal and technical practices much more it does than the dramatic acts of threat construction usually associated with the term. Second, this case challenges us to rethink how we understand deportation. For it brings to light the way in which insurers and shipping experts operate as a private industry which specializes in the disembarkation and repatriation of stowaways. A fascinating feature of this stowaway removal industry is that it must negotiate the return of its subjects not just into the political space of the world of states, but the terrestrial space of dry land.
Fluchthilfe und Menschenschmuggel im Mitteleuropa des 20. Jahrhunderts und die Bedeutung der grenzregionalen Bevölkerung
This article compares three historical periods of crossing German borders and the corresponding types of migration: illegal migration from Poland to Germany between 1890 and 1933, escape aid from Germany and the occupied territories during National Socialism, and human smuggling and migration aid to Germany between 1989 and 2004. Through these comparisons, continuities of migration and policy patterns can be discovered. Borders and cross-border migration are both symbolic and practically relevant for the production of social homogeneity. The possibility of successfully crossing the border depends to a high degree on the attitudes of the local population towards migrants. During German history these attitudes have been shifting from indifference to hostility, which results in hardening the borders.