chapter  6
19 Pages

Deserting sovereignty? The securitization of undocu- mented migration in the United States

ByMATHEW COLEMAN

There has been an explosion of critical research on American security (and insecurity), prompted in large part by the US-led war on terror and its contingencies (for example, extraordinary renditions, racial profi ling, military tribunals, or preemptive warfare). One important result has been a multi-disciplinary popularization of a central theme in the critical geopolitics/critical international relations literature of the 1990s: that accounts of identity and its differences constitute the (geo)political. For example, it is now held as commonsensical that security, rather than a no-nonsense expression of national interest or strategy in a confl ict-prone world economy, is a boundarydrawing knowledge of performative temperament whose power lies in its ability to geographically “enframe and incite certain conceptual, moral and/or aesthetic understandings of self and other, security and danger, proximity and distance, indifference and responsibility.”1 The message, then, is that spatialized discourses about identity and difference continue to inhere in statecraft, and that complex global political economic realities are still frequently reduced by practitioners of state (particularly in US foreign policy practice) to simplistic territorial mappings of “identity here” and “difference there.”