chapter  7
Governing borderzones of mobility through e-borders: the politics of embodied mobility
Pages 26

Global mobility is a defining feature of the current period of globalization. More people are on the move for reasons of travel, study, family or work or are forced to move due to war, poverty or environmental and development-induced displacement. In response, industrialized countries are investing in the development of new border controls, border technologies and (re)bordering practices as part of a larger changing politics of control, aimed at governing populations through their mobility (Rygiel 2010a). Within this context e-borders, or intelligence-driven border control programs, respond to the need for more flexible borders that secure territorial and political borders of states, while at the same time facilitating a high degree of controlled circulation of mobile populations. In part, e-borders are driven by a logic of neoliberal efficiency: they differentiate between those streams of mobility considered normal and desirable (such as leisure and business) and those deemed irregular and undesirable (such as undocumented migration and asylum). Mobile bodies deemed relatively low risk are then separated from those perceived to be high risk (through trusted traveler programs, for example) in order to free up resources that can then be directed toward monitoring ‘the risky’. As Didier Bigo argues, while border controls are connected to the ‘political program of liberalism on a worldwide scale . . . dedicated to the freedom of movement’, the freedom of movement:

. . . is not applied in a homogeneous manner. The freedom of capital, goods, services is a source of profitability; the freedom of human movement is not necessarily so. Those who are profitable and economically solvent are to be separated from those who are not, but this must be done without checking everybody. Such is the price of managing speed.