Reece Jones and I have a new paper in Territory, Politics, Governance on “The biopolitics and geopolitics of border enforcement in Melilla.”
Abstract: This article uses the multiple and contradictory realities of Melilla, a pene-enclave and -exclave of Spain in North Africa, to draw out the contemporary practice of Spanish, European Union, and Moroccan immigration enforcement policies. The city is many things at once: a piece of Europe in North Africa and a symbol of Spain’s colonial history; an example of the contemporary narrative of a cosmopolitan and multicultural Europe; a place where extraterritorial and intraterritorial dynamics demonstrate territory’s continuing allure despite the security challenges and the lack of economic or strategic value; a metaphorical island of contrasting geopolitical and biopolitical practices; and a place of regional flows and cross-border cooperation between Spain, the EU, and Morocco. It is a border where the immunitary logic of sovereign territorial spaces is exposed through the biopolitical practices of the state to ‘protect’ the community from outsiders. In light of the hardening of borders throughout European and North African space in recent years, this article offers a rich case study of our persistently territorial world.