Migrant encounters with neo-colonial masculinity: producing European sovereignty through emotions

2018-06-19T08:32:03Z (GMT) by Ali Bilgic
EU/ropean political community's reaction to irregular migrants is ambivalent. On the one hand, mi-grants are produced as people to be pitied, rescued and saved. On the other hand, they are feared, despised and left to die. The article looks at this ambivalence from a gender perspective and asks how sovereign masculinities are produced through emotional performances in the politics of migration con-trol and management. It will be argued that emotions such as fear, disgust, and compassion are per-formed in the biopolitical security governance of irregular migration by producing a ‘socially abject’ life as its object. This is a life that is to be killed, despised, and saved. Encounters between the irregular migrant and a European border security actor constitute a neo-colonial masculinity. During the moment of the encounter with the other’s life, sovereignty is produced through emotional performances of border security actors. The discussion concludes with illustrations of how racialized bodies and lives are produced as objects of fear, disgust and compassion by producing the European neo-colonial masculin-ity. The article speaks to the debates in the literature of masculinities in global politics, emotions and politics, and critical border studies.