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Keywords:

  • asylum;
  • post-politics;
  • citizenship;
  • Rancière;
  • activism

Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which practices of asylum governance serve to depoliticise those seeking asylum in the UK. In critiquing claims over the “post-political” nature of contemporary governance, the paper proposes a focus upon situated practices of depoliticisation which displace those seeking asylum through the production of specific sites of accommodation and specific discourses of risk, security and moralised concern. The paper questions the tendency within “post-political” thought to strip the potential of modes of informal citizenship through arguing that minor acts of resistance are ineffectual and illusory. In response, the paper explores irregular migrant's “acts of citizenship”, and suggests that such prosaic acts can be powerful forms of political interruption through which new ways of seeing asylum are constructed. The paper concludes by suggesting that an incremental politics orientated around such acts of interruption is essential to challenge the material, affective and discursive closures of asylum domopolitics.