The rescue of migrants at sea has recently been tackled by authoritative acts that have led to an increasing criminalization of solidarity between and toward migrants. By drawing on the case of the Mediterranea platform of activists, this article argues that the notion of arbitrariness defined as a departure from the rule of law fails to capture the ongoing conflict at the borders of Europe. By highlighting its ambivalent meaning, arbitrariness appears instead either as an authoritative attempt to impose a different order on society or as a means to contrast unorderable acts of resistance to border regimes. The article advocates the importance of reframing the demand for open borders as a call for freedom of those who challenge the pragmatic order of borders.
Struggles for Freedom within and against the Legal Order at the Borders of Europe
Enrica Rigo is Associate Professor at the University of Roma Tre where she holds the chair in Philosophy of Law and coordinates a legal clinic program on migration and asylum. She is the author of numerous articles on migration, borders, gender, and asylum and justice, including a monograph on European citizenship in the enlargement context. Over the last two decades, Enrica has been involved as an activist in the Italian and European movement in support of migrants’ rights.
Enrica Rigo; Struggles for Freedom within and against the Legal Order at the Borders of Europe. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2020; 119 (1): 182–192. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8007877
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