Foucault News

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

Orsini, G., Smit, S., Farcy, J.-B., Merla, L.
Institutional racism within the securitization of migration. The case of family reunification in Belgium
(2021) Ethnic and Racial Studies.

DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2021.1878249

Institutional Racism (IR) in Europe is rarely mentioned in studies of race-based discrimination. Yet, structural racism occurs within most European societies. Due to the increasing securitization of immigration, countries have introduced several (in)formal strategies to exclude foreign populations. Given that, we propose an updated way of conceptualizing IR to uncover contemporary manifestations and practices of structural racist discrimination in a European country. By concentrating on the case of Belgium and, in particular, on family reunification, we first operationalize Agamben’s “state of exception” to show how exceptional measures applying to non-nationals conflict with other constitutional and international legal frameworks. As we discuss, such incompatible legal tools generate space for racist considerations to drive judicial decisions involving non-nationals. Second, in relying on Foucault’s governmentality, we explore migrants’ everyday experience of administrative discrimination–as the same procedures are implemented differently on foreigners of diverse nationalities. © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Author Keywords
Belgium; governmentality; Institutional racism; multilevel; securitization of migration; state of exception

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