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Affective Bordering: Emotional Migration Control and the Threat of ‘Remigration’

This talk delves into the emotional dynamics driving contemporary border practices, with a focus on how the threat of ‘remigration’ is constructed in contemporary migration discourse in Germany. It explores the influence of conspirational fears, particularly those surrounding great replacement ideologies, alongside renewed attachments to nationalist constructions of home and Heimat, revealing how borders are secured not just through hatred and fear but also love and affection. The analysis unveils the racialised grammars of deservingness that structure the emotional politics of migration control today and stresses the need for abolitionist approaches to the border.

Billy Holzberg is a Lecturer in Social Justice at the Centre for Public Policy Research at King’s College London. His work investigates what role emotional attachments and desire play in fuelling border regimes, nationalisms, and neo-fascist politics in Europe and how such dynamics might be counteracted. He is the author of Affective Bordering: Race, Deservingness and the Emotional Politics of Migration Control which will be published by Manchester University Press in June 2024.

This event will be chaired by Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries, Director of the King's Sanctuary Programme.

At this event

Billy Holzberg 2023

Lecturer in Social Justice

Dr Leonie Ansems de Vries

Reader in International Politics


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