The recent mass displacement of refugees has been described internationally as a “crisis.” But crisis implies eventfulness: a distinct problem that can be solved. The urgency of solving this problem of displacement has seen the use of expansive techniques of sovereignty across Europe, the epicenter of the crisis. Focusing exclusively on the formation of sovereignty through the analytical locus of crisis continues, however, to reproduce the trope of the “refugee” as a category of exception. This essay considers the experiences of people who were resettled as refugees in Australia and whose displacement has ostensibly been resolved. Drawing attention to their continuing experiences of violence, it considers how the temporal framing of displacement is itself a way to conceal formations of sovereignty embedded in the very processes designed to resolve displacement. Doing so opens up new ways to think about control over time as a technique of sovereignty.
Research Article|September 01 2017
Incommensurable Futures and Displaced Lives: Sovereignty as Control over Time
Public Culture (2017) 29 (3 (83)): 515-538.
Georgina Ramsay; Incommensurable Futures and Displaced Lives: Sovereignty as Control over Time. Public Culture 1 September 2017; 29 (3 (83)): 515–538. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-3869584
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