La biopolítica de la fortaleza Europa. La genealogía del dispositivo fronterizo desde la paz de Westfalia hasta la crisis de refugiados del Mediterráneo

  1. Pablo Domenech de la Lastra
Supervised by:
  1. Salvador Cayuela Sánchez Director
  2. Antonio Campillo Meseguer Director

Defence university: Universidad de Murcia

Year of defence: 2019

  1. Francisco Vázquez García Chair
  2. Alfonso Galindo Hervás Secretary
  3. Giuseppe Campesi Committee member

Type: Thesis


The evident violence displayed against thousands, if not millions, of migrants that try to arrive to the European Union has led us to the hypothesis is that this is not an anomaly or dysfunctionality of the Western migratory politics, but it relates to a certain rationality of power. Then, the objective of this research is to establish the conditions of intelligibility of the Fortress Europe, understood as a technology of power and a field of knowledge of strategically autonomous. For this, we will pay attention to two operative-cognitive axis: the space and the security. For our analysis, we have used the philosophical-critical tools from Michel Foucault, specifically the concept of dispositive and the methodology of genealogy of power. Regarding the first, there is no agreement in the specialized literature. That is why we have opted to employ an interpretation of the dispositive as a methodological grid for a dual purpose: on one hand, to order the diverse Foucauldian concepts in a productive way for the study of complex human phenomena as that on global borders and migrations. On the other hand, to establish the relation between different practices and discourses, forms of power and of knowledge, objects, subjects and phenomena from the contemporary proliferation of borders. The genealogy of power allowed us to set the historical continuities and fractures for the dispositives of knowledge/power/subjectivity, and to find the contingents conditions of emergence of borders from an immanent point of view about the human structures. In turn, have distinguished two genealogical processes: first, we have outlined the conditions of emergence of the borders as object of both practices and discourses. Such object would have appeared in the context of consolidation of sovereign territorial State between the 15th and 17th century, mainly by two distinct technologies: diplomatic international treaties and the modern cartography. The second process has been the constitution of the border as autonomous dispositive of knowledge/power/subjectivity in the context of globalization. To connect both decisive moments we have attended different dynamics and phenomena that have affected the territoriality since the Peace of Westphalia, such as colonialism, nationalism, capitalism and the forms of governmental biopower. With all this, we have elaborated a comprehensive frame for the border dispositive as it has determined, and has been determined by, the global migrations. First, the diverse security mechanisms have constituted the global migrations as objects of power practices and discourses of knowledge. Secondly, the spatiality regime of the territorial borderline has dispersed in a fuzzy swarm of heterogeneous zones, enclaves, exclaves and temporalities. Third, the complex structure of the border dispositive hosts within itself at least two modalities of power: sovereignty, inherited from the dispositive of modern State, and biopolitics, that enable the governmental management of migrant populations. Finally, the articulation of security apparatus, the bordersapes and the technologies of power is strategically oriented to manufacture a subaltern population by the figure of the "illegal migrant". We are talking about the hierarchization of racialized populations from the Third World for the production of exploitable subjects ?in the labor, sexual and care sense?; and this applied both at the local level, by means of generalized juridical insecurity and the threat of administrative detention and deportation, and at the global level, solidifying capitalism's global differentials by the reproduction of neocolonial asymmetries.