The micropolitics of border struggles: migrants’ squats and inhabitance as alternatives to citizenship

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    This paper discusses the struggles of the We Are Here movement in Amsterdam as resistance to both securitarian and humanitarian border regimes. It explores the tensions between everyday forms of commoning emerging in migrants’ squats and technologies of enclosure and capture. In the first place, the paper contends that the creation of housing squats marked an important shift in migrants’ struggles that went from acts of protest to the performance of resistance at the level of the micropolitics of borders. By squatting buildings and creating common living spaces, current struggles mobilize material, affective and political solidarities and constitute a politics of inhabitance beyond and against dependency on the state and humanitarian practices. The second part of the paper discusses the government’s attempts to repress, govern and enclose the We Are Here movement within confined fields of action. With negotiations and humanitarian concessions through the provision of emergency shelters, local authorities attempted to re-direct the movement into politics of rights and recognitions. However, these tactics did not succeed to contain the struggle in its entirety: many migrants rejected humanitarian solutions, continued to create radical home spaces through squatting, enacting a politics of inhabitance beyond citizenship.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)593-607
    Number of pages15
    JournalCitizenship Studies
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Citizenship Studies on 25/06/2019, available online:


    • Crimmigration
    • Borders
    • Micropolitics
    • Inhabitance
    • Squatting
    • Affects
    • squatting
    • inhabitance
    • affects
    • micropolitics


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