ISCI is a cross-disciplinary research centre working to further our understanding of state crime: organisational deviance violating human rights

Mobility and Post-Socialism: Cross-Border Shaming and Un-Belonging in a White Europe

SCJ 11(1) front cover

State Crime Journal Special Issue on Migration and Racist State Violence

Vol. 11, No. 1 (2022) – open access

Corina Tulbure

In today’s Europe, mechanisms of controlling and disciplining bodies presumably transcend the logic and costs of the painful infliction of violence. State-sanctioned practices and bureaucratic categorization offer EU citizens the chance to live as “Europeans” wherever they choose to live in the territory of a member state. However, within the framework of the neo-colonial structuring of power, Eastern European states inhabit not only a geographic border zone, but recreate the periphery of modernity on the continent. In this article I aim to problematize the violence applied to people from Eastern Europe, who are border-crossers, and to reveal the meaning of intra-European bordering practices. I bring to the fore (personal) memories of border-crossing and data from my fieldwork, exposing collective similar experiences. Today, as in the last few decades, EU citizens whose mobility is controlled or forced across Europe, are submitted to forms of displacement, eviction, and deportation, producing the un-belonging of the border-crossers. These experiences are accompanied and accounted for by numerous emotions that reveal ways in which state institutions act upon the bodies and minds of non-citizens, a way in which the state is felt, becoming present in people’s lives. One of the emotions induced through state institutions and their practices is shame, an essential tool of control and a producer of un-belonging. Thus, within the nation-state, following a racist-patriarchal logic, the unaccounted dehumanization and dignity violation of “some” citizens is accommodated, rationalized, and encouraged… (read more)

State Crime Journal Special Issue on Migration and Racist State Violence