1st Edition

Asylum Seekers, Sovereignty, and the Senses of the International
A Politico-corporeal Struggle

ISBN 9781032179346
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
212 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

The confrontation between asylum seeking and sovereignty has mainly focused on ways in which the movement and possibilities of refugees and migrants are limited. In this volume, instead of departing from the practices of governance and surveillance, Puumala begins with the moving body, its engagements and relations and examines different ways of seeing and sensing the struggle between asylum seekers and sovereign practices.

Puumala asserts that our political imagination is being challenged in its ways of ordering, practicing and thinking about the international and those relations we call international. The issues relating to asylum seekers are one example of the deficiencies in the spatiotemporal logic upon which these relations were originally built; words such as ‘nation’, ‘people’, ‘sovereignty’ and ‘community’ are challenged. Conventional methods of governing, regulating and administering increased forms of mobility are in trouble, which gives rise to the invention of new technologies at borders and introduces regulations and spaces of exception.

Based on extensive fieldwork that sheds light on a range of Europe-wide practices in the field of asylum and migration policies, this book will be of interest to scholars of IR theory, biopolitics and migration, as well as critical security more broadly.

Table of Contents


Event 1: Ethnographic experiences

Chapter 1: Exposure

Event 2: Political lives, professional ethics, and sovereign practices

Chapter 2: Sovereignty, mobility, the body

Event 3: Asylum, a monologist narrative of the state?

Chapter 3: A struggle over the body

Event 4: Passages and dislocations

Chapter 4: Moving (in) space

Event 5: The feltness of sovereignty

Chapter 5: Sensuous politics, political sentiments

Collage of a politico-corporeal struggle



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Eeva Puumala is a post-doctoral researcher at the Tampere Peace Research Institute in the University of Tampere, Finland