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Asylum Seekers, Sovereignty, and the Senses of the International : A Politico-Corporeal Struggle
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The debates around asylum and migration have focused on topics such as peace, security and international policy by connecting arms sales, unfair trade practices or other economic, environmental or political reasons with the production of refugees and migrants. In this volume, instead of departing from the ‘push’ or ‘pull’ factors that initiate cross-border movement, Puumala begins with the moving body and examine the kinds of relations of the international that the body makes visible through its relations, engagements and movement.
Seeking to interrupt state-based accounts and state-based body politics, the principle of sovereignty is not strictly limited to the state, but functions at multiple and interconnected levels simultaneously. Sovereignty is understood as a spatiotemporal construction that constrains our notions of politics and political life, where they can be found and what forms they might take. Pumaala asserts that our political imagination is being challenged in its ways of ordering, practicing and thinking about the international and those relations we call international. The issues relating to asylum seekers are one example of the deficiencies in the spatiotemporal logic upon which these relations were originally bui words such as ‘nation’, ‘people’, ‘sovereignty’ and ‘community’ are challenged. Conventional methods of governing, regulating and administering increased forms of mobility are in trouble, which gives rise to the invention of new technologies at borders and introduces regulations and spaces of exception.
Based on extensive fieldwork which sheds light on a range of Europe-wide practices in the field of asylum and migration policies, this challenging work will be of interest to scholars of IR theory, biopolitics and migration, as well as critical security more broadly.