In Agamben’s state of exception, the juridical order and the law are

In Agamben’s state of exception, the juridical order and the law are suspended due to an emerging or an ongoing crisis threatening the state (in this case, refugee crises or migrant flows) and its sovereignty. For Agamben that suspension of the law is pivotal because it affects peoples’ lives not as citizens but as human beings.
According to Agamben, the state of exception becomes permanent in the context of the refugee or concentration camp, since the camp operates outside of the normal penal system. And it is exactly the refugee camp, where the state of emergency/state of exception become permanent: camps operating outside the law, systematic violation of human rights, administrative detention, detention without trial or charges, prevention through deterrence, border securitization and militarization, which are justified by nation states in the name of sovereignty, the safety and well-being of citizens, who are prioritized in contrast to refugees and migrants. By declaring a state of emergency, due to refugee/migrant flows or a refugee crisis, all these violent practices are not considered illegal and are justified.
Question: Drawing on two of the assigned readings (see below), apply the term state of exception in one of the case studies discussed during Weeks 3, 5, and 7.
For instance, the European and global refugee regimes (Jones; Pollozek and Passoth), the US-Mexico border (De León and Jones), the Calais camp (“Jamal,” Trilling), or Manus Island (Boochani).
You can start by defining the term state of exception (Stefatos powerpoint and Owens, “Beyond ‘Bare Life’), then provide a brief context of your case study: EU, Greece, the US-Mexico border, Calais or Manus Island, and conclude by applying the term state of exception in your selected case study.
Provide justification as to why or how the camp or the border operates in the context of state of exception; for instance, you can discuss cases of human rights violations, the disposability of life and death, lack of medical attention, legal protection and so on.
Recommended Readings
Week 3
Border Regimes
Jones. 2016. “The European Union: The World’s Deadliest Border” (Ch.1) & “The Global Refugee Regime” (Ch. 3). Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move. London & New York: Verso.
Bare Life: Arendt & Agamben
Arendt. 1943. “We Refugees”:
Abamben’s response to Arendt. 1993:
Betts and Loescher, “Beyond ‘Bare Life:’ Refugees and the ‘Right to have Rights’” (Ch. 6). Refugees in International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Week 5
Fortress Europe
Pollozek and Passoth. 2019. “Infrastructuring European migration and border control: The logistics of registration and identification at Moria hotspot,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 37(4): 606-624.
In class short documentary: 4.1 Miles. 2016; Directed by Daphne Matziaraki (21 min.).
Lived Experiences of Refugeedom
Trilling. 2018. “Jamal.” In Lights in the Distance: Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe, Verso, pp. 3–18.
Boochani. 2019. No Friend but the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (Translated by Omid Tofighian). House of Anansi (excerpts).
Week 7 Necropolitics of The Border
De León. 2015. “Prevention Through Deterrence,” The land of open graves: living and dying on the migrant trail. California Series in Public Anthropology 36. Berkeley: University of California Press, 23-37.
De León. 2012. “Better to Be Hot than Caught:” Excavating the Conflicting Roles of Migrant Material Culture,” American Anthropologist, 144 (3): 477-495:
Jones. 2016. “The US-Mexico Border: Rise of a Militarized Zone,” Violent Borders. Refugees and the Right to Move. London & New York: Verso (Ch.2), pp. 29-47.
The thought paper should be 3-4 pages long, incorporate at least two of the above listed readings, and develop an argument that specifically addresses the prompt.
(a) You can provide an overview of the issue, (b) review some of the main arguments analyzed in the assigned readings (c) present your own position or reflection on the issue under consideration.
Your thought papers will be graded on content (i.e. the soundness of the argument and the use of class readings), overall structure, and general writing.
General Guidelines:
ü All papers need to include proper bibliographic citations; that means that you need to cite your sources not only when you are using a direct quote, but also when you refer to a specific idea/argument, or when you rely to certain facts presented in the paper. Please use, Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, more info here:
ü Make sure that the last page/section is a References Cited or Bibliography page following Chicago Manual of Style. Carefully review and proofread your written work.