The good Ukrainian, the bad Syrian, the ugly Afghan (and the forgotten ones) : reframing migration governance through Michel Foucault’s and Hannah Arendt’s legacies

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Fagard, Clarisse
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The war raging in Ukraine compels more than ever to confront the impasses and divergences of current migration policies. The present study provides a philosophical perspective on the refugee status and seeks to address the contradictions inherent to the latter policies. By drawing upon four major refugee movements, it reviews the emergency responses deployed in their wake, exposing asylum policy inequities and differential treatment of refugees on the basis of their situation. Building on the work of Michel Foucault and Hannah Arendt, the study delves into the concepts of governmentality, power, subjectivity, agency, biopower and biopolitics. Through the interlacing of the two authors' perspectives, the paper will attempt to reveal subtle connections and suggest avenues for reflection on the paradoxes and problems inherent in their respective theories. The thesis comprises four parts, which successively explore the notion of biopower and its applicability to refugees, the concept of biopolitics and the influence on migration policies, Deleuze and Guattari's enlightenments to a revisited appreciation of biopolitics, and lastly the constructing of a political space of resistance for refugees. Through a theoretical approach and an exploration of key concepts such as refugees, migrants, asylum, freedom, and citizenship, it is hoped to raise reflexive stances on current dilemmas among policymakers in the migration field. The study further proposes a forward-looking approach to exploring alternative representations of refugees, possibly aimed at shifting migratory policies.
Second semester University: University College, Dublin. Awarded thesis 2022/2023
migrations, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, refugees, asylum, citizenship