chapter  7
15 Pages

‘Delay and neglect’

The everyday geopolitics of humanitarian borders
WithElisa Pascucci, Jouni Häkli, Kirsi Pauliina Kallio

This chapter traces some intertwining elements of the ‘humanitarian border’ in the Eastern Mediterranean, focusing on the cases of Greece and Lebanon. It argues that the multifaceted spatialities and agencies are better understood as emerging mundane geopolitics of the humanitarian border–geopolitics characterized by everyday configurations of bordering, care, and transgression. The chapter discusses how work in the fields of everyday and urban geopolitics can contribute to our understanding of contemporary intersections of humanitarianism and borders. It examines the delayed temporalities, and omissions and withdrawals of care, in the context of post-European Union-Turkey Statement hotspot governance in Lesvos, Aegean Greece. The chapter describes the ethical implications of the two cases as examples of localized, ‘polymorphic’ humanitarian borders, where multiple agentic capacities constitute heterogeneous models of ‘negative governance’. A parallel comparison between the Greek and Lebanese situations brings to the fore the spatial and temporal variabilities of the border, as well as the numerous agentic capacities embedded in it.