Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Gera Roy, A.
Dream of a World Without Borders: A Century After the Komagata Maru
(2018) Social and Legal Studies, 27 (2), pp. 219-235.

DOI: 10.1177/0964663917746484

This essay revisits the ‘Komagata Maru’ incident of 1914 to investigate the legalities that have complicated migration from some parts of the world to others since the era of apparently porous colonial borders to the highly bordered contemporary world that is differentially porous. It shows that the promise of free movement in the global village is undercut by the reality of legislation and juridical issues that continue to regulate the movements of people from one part of the world to the other. It focuses on legal borders that restrict the movement of people in the contemporary world by returning to an earlier moment when several of these issues were foregrounded. The essay draws on Hardt and Negri’s (2000) Empire and Foucault’s notion of governmentality to identify the juridical procedures, tactics, apparatuses of security and machineries of surveillance that the British government employed against imperial subjects during the Komagata Maru episode of 1914. It argues that the national and supranational organisms united under the single logic of the sovereignty of the British Empire, through which state-centric imperialism obstructed the mobility of the passengers on the Komagata Maru, make it resemble the new Empire. © 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.

Author Keywords
Empire; governmentality; juridical procedures; migration; mobility; sovereignty

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