AE Forum: The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Europe


Migrants walk from Hungary toward Austria at the beginning of what came to be known as the March of Hope, September 4, 2015. (Courtesy of Migszol Csoport
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Migrants walk from Hungary toward Austria at the beginning of what came to be known as the March of Hope, September 4, 2015. (Courtesy of Migszol Csoport)
Migrants walk from Hungary toward Austria at the beginning of what came to be known as the March of Hope, September 4, 2015. (Courtesy of Migszol Csoport) **See articles - AE Forum: The 2015 Refugee Crisis in Europe**. **Representing the "European Refugee Crisis" in Germany and Beyond: Deservingness and Difference, Life and Death** Seth M. Holmes and Heide Castañeda The European refugee crisis has gained worldwide attention with daily media coverage both in and outside Germany. Representations of refugees in media and political discourse in relation to Germany participate in a Gramscian “war of position” over symbols, policies, and, ultimately, social and material resources, with potentially fatal consequences. These representations shift blame from historical, political-economic structures to the displaced people themselves. They demarcate the “deserving” refugee from the “undeserving” migrant and play into fear of cultural, religious, and ethnic difference in the midst of increasing anxiety and precarity for many in Europe. Comparative perspectives suggest that anthropology can play an important role in analyzing these phenomena, highlighting sites of contestation, imagining alternatives, and working toward them. **Immobilizing Mobility: Border Ethnography, Illiberal Democracy, and the Politics of the "Refugee Crisis" in Hungary** Annastiina Kallius, Daniel Monterescu, and Prem Kumar Rajaram In the summer of 2015, more than 350,000 migrants moved through Hungarian territory. Almost immediately there emerged in response a dialectic between, on the one hand, depoliticizing narratives of crisis that sought to immobilize the migrants and, on the other, concrete political mobilization that sought to facilitate their mobility. While state institutions and humanitarian volunteer groups framed mobility in terms that emphasized a vertical form of politics, a horizontal counterpolitics arose by the summer’s end, one that challenged hegemonic territorial politics. The state’s efforts to immobilize resulted only in more radical forms of mobility. Outlining an ethnography of mobility, immobilization, and cross-border activism, we follow the dramatic yet momentary presence, and subsequent absence, of migrants in an evanescent rebel city marked by novel political solidarities. ***État de siège*: A Dying Domesticating Colonialism?** Ghassan Hage The sentiment of being “surrounded by barbarians” was once specific to settler-colonial societies. But as the European refugee crisis made headlines in 2015, it became evident that this sentiment is gaining widespread currency in the Western world. Three developments lie behind its extension: first, the resurgence in the militarized Western appropriation of world resources and its colonial imaginary; second, the crisis in the order of the national borders that has regulated the exploitation of land, resources, and labor in the neocolonial era; and third, the ecological crisis, which equally manifests itself as a crisis in the order of the borders of domestication that defined the modern exploitation of nature. Analyzing the intersection of these social processes offers us important insights into some of the dominant dynamics of Western culture today.