chapter  2
Freedom and speed in enlarged borderzones
ByDIDIER BIGO
Pages 20

This essay is structured by a central idea: under liberal governmentality mobility is translated into a discourse of freedom of circulation, which reframes freedom as moving without being stopped, and confuses the speed of well-channelled movement with freedom. As we will see in the first part of this essay, this process of reframing freedom as speed emerges from a long history of liberal governmentality. It is related to more recent trends concerning the combination of different techniques (including biometrics identifiers, storage of personal data in huge databases, and exchange of these data at the transnational level), which have been experimented with in various local regions, such as at Australian borders, US-Mexico and US-Canada borders, and Schengen borders. This trend was destabilised after September 14, 2001, and it was then reframed in light of the temptation to come back to a sovereign logic of border controls. It has been given the name of ‘smart’ borders. The techniques are unending, and in the language of the European Union (EU) they have been defined as ‘enhancing freedom’. They have huge implications concerning who is considered a regular traveller or not, under what reasons the journey is considered as legitimate (legalised), and when the traveller is seen as entering a ‘borderzone’ that is deterritorialised from the locus of the state border. As we will see in the second part of this essay, such techniques also invoke compliance on the part of individuals to a regime of mobility that is associated with freedom and comfort. Control is less directed toward these individuals than it is directed toward their personal data, their ‘data double’, meaning the information collected in the database systems which is seen as representing their ‘real’ identity, the truth of their body (see Rygiel, this volume). This essay thus argues that liberal governmentality is more and more driven by a reframing of freedom as speed and comfort, implying that freedom is subordinated to unease, suspicion of others, and uncertainty about the boundaries of the self. The identity of this self is now related not only to the soul and the body, but also to the data double; it is related to the information collected by public and private bureaucracies about the self, which supposedly tells the truth about him or her. This, as we will see, generates new forms of irregularity through dataveillance.