chapter  5
Alien powers: deportable labour and the spectacle of security
ByNICHOLAS DE GENOVA
Pages 26

Antiterrorism policies and the consequent securitization of migration must be recognized as ongoing ‘irregularizing’ practices that intervene in struggles over the politics of human mobility. It is instructive from the outset to establish that the practices of antiterrorism – its physics, so to speak – have only been legitimated and made possible with recourse to an elaborate scaffolding of distinctly metaphysical premises, propositions, and inferences about ‘terror’ and its Manichean changeling, counter-terror. For some time following the events of 11 September 2001 these doppelgangers were purported to be engaged in nothing less than total war (De Genova 2007; see Bigo, this volume). As a material and practical effect of what may therefore be called the metaphysics of antiterrorism, spectacles of increasingly militarized border policing have proliferated globally. Amidst the expanding purview of securitization in virtually all aspects of travel and transit, deportation has recently achieved an unprecedented prominence (e.g., Bloch and Schuster, 2005; Fekete, 2005; Hing, 2006; Kanstroom, 2007; Nyers, 2003; Peutz, 2006; Walters, 2002). The practice of deportation has emerged as a definite and increasingly pervasive convention of routine statecraft. Indeed, deportation seems to have become a virtually global regime (De Genova and Peutz, 2010). Consequently, migration must be theorized as a central figure in any attempt to comprehend and critically analyze the new, effectively global formations of state power along with a supranational sovereignty that may be detected in the unprecedented securitization of the planet.