You can find here some of the publications from the project and related research we have done over the past years.

Book Reviews: Border Frictions: Gender, Generation and Technology on the Frontline (Karine Côté-Boucher (2020), Routledge, Abingdon)
Defense & Security Analysis, 37(3): 383-385

Sarah Perret (2021)

Designs of borders: Security, critique, and the machines

European Journal of International Security, 6(3): 278-300

Médéric Martin-Mazé & Sarah Perret (2021)

Over the past 15 years, the European Commission has poured millions of euros into Research and Development in border security. This article looks at the devices that are funded under this scheme. To this end, it applies Multiple Correspondence Analysis to a database of 41 projects funded under 7th Framework Programme. This method of data visualisation unearths the deep patterns of opposition that run across the sociotechnical universe where European borders are designed and created. We identify three rationalities of power at play: territorial surveillance aimed at detecting rare events in remote areas, policing of dense human flows by sorting out the benign from the dangerous, and finally global dataveillance of cargo on the move. Instead of trends towards either the hardening of borders or their virtualisation, we, therefore, find multiple rationalities of power simultaneously redefining the modalities of control at EU borders. A second finding shows where precisely critical actors are located in this sociotechnical universe and indicates that the structure of European R&D in border security keeps irregularised migrants off their radars. This finding calls for more caution as to the possibility to effectively put critique to work within the context of EU R&D.

L’action législative: un outil de gestion du ‘risque terroriste’? 

In Adib Bencherif and Frédéric Mérand (eds.), L’analyse du risque politique: de la pratique à la théorie (Political Risk Analysis), Presses Universitaires de Montréal.

Sarah Perret (2021)

While risk management normally implies a prior analysis, the opposite is often the case with terrorism, where the analysis takes place downstream of management. Why, in this particular case, does risk analysis succeed its management? Should we think of the terrorist threat other than as a political risk like any other? Based on a reformulation of the Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory, this chapter questions the ‘doxical’ practices (here legislative and restrictive practices of fundamental democratic rights) that have the consequence of maintaining an object such as terrorism in the space of ‘risk’, and therefore of instability. The chapter tries to deconstruct the dominant practices of legislating in the public action in matters of terrorism, particularly in France, by apprehending this object more as a ‘catastrophe’ in the Thomian sense, that is, as an uncertain, sudden and tragic event. 

Experimentality, surplus data and the politics of debilitation in borderzones 


Claudia Aradau (2020)

The use of digital devices and the collection of digital data have become pervasive in borderzones. Whether deployed by state or non-state actors, digital devices are rolled out despite intense criticism and controversy. Many scholars and public actors  have criticised these experiments with digital technologies in borderzones. Yet, what exactly does it mean to conduct experiments in borderzones?  In this article, I discuss different meanings of experiments and experimentation and propose to understand border governance  through the prism of experimentality. Experimentality was initially formulated in the anthropological literature on the globalisation of clinical trials and, more recently, revisited in feminist science and technology studies. Drawing on this work, I argue that experimentality has become a rationality of governing in borderzones, which renders social relations continuously decomposable and recomposable by inserting mundane (digital) devices into the world. The introduction of various digital devices in Greece since 2015, starting with Skype for the pre-registration of asylum seekers, helps shed light on a particular form of governing through experiments without protocol. This form of experimentality has specific political effects for migrants’ lives. Firstly, experimentality builds upon and intensifies neoliberalism by rearranging rather than redressing precarity. In so doing, experimentality through digital devices produces debilitation rather than better connectivity or access to asylum. Secondly, migrants become not only subjects of surveillance, but subjects of extraction of ‘surplus data’ which entangles their lives into the circuits of digital platforms.

Collective Discussion: Toward Critical Approaches to Intelligence as a Social Phenomenon 

International Political Sociology 14(3) pp. 323-344

Hager Ben Jaffel, Alvina Hoffmann, Oliver Kearns & Sebastian Larsson (2020)

This collective discussion proposes a novel understanding of intelligence as a social phenomenon, taking place in a social space that increasingly involves actors and professional fields not immediately seen as part of intelligence. Intelligence professionals not only have to reckon with policymakers, but also increasingly with law enforcement agents, representatives from the science and technology sector, judges, lawyers, activists, and Internet users themselves. 

Biopolitics Multiple: Migration, Extraction, Subtraction 

Millennium, 48(2):198-220.

Claudia Aradau & Martina Tazzioli (2019)

This article proposes ‘biopolitics multiple’ as an approach to the heterogeneity of biopolitical technologies deployed to govern migration today. Building on work that has started to develop analytical vocabularies to diagnose biopolitical technologies that work neither by fostering life nor by making people die in a necropolitical sense, it conceptualises ‘extraction’ and ‘subtraction’ as two such technologies that take ‘hold’ of migrants’ lives today. Extraction, explored in the article through a focus on borderzones in Greece, captures the imbrication of biopolitics and value through the ‘outside’ creation of the economic conditions of data circulation. Subtraction, which is analysed in this article through a focus on Calais, captures the practices of (partial) non-governing by taking material and legal terrain away from migrants and reconfiguring convoluted geographies of (forced) hyper-mobility. This move allows us to understand the governmentality of migration beyond binary oppositions such as ‘making live/letting die’, biopolitics/necropolitics and inclusion/exclusion.