Enforcing Apartheid?

The Politics of “Intolerability” in the Danish Migration and Integration Regimes

in Migration and Society
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  • 1 Roskilde University
  • 2 University of Bern
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Abstract

Across Northern European states, we can observe a proliferation of “hostile environments” targeting racialized groups. This article zooms in on Denmark and discusses recent policy initiatives that are explicitly aimed at excluding, criminalizing, and inflicting harm on migrants and internal “others” by making their lives “intolerable.” We use the example of Danish deportation centers to illustrate how structural racism is institutionalized and implemented, and then discuss the centers in relation to other recent policy initiatives targeting racialized groups. We propose that these policies must be analyzed as complementary bordering practices: externally, as exemplified by deportation centers, and internally, as reflected in the development of parallel legal regimes for racialized groups. We argue that, taken together, they enact and sustain a system of apartheid.

Contributor Notes

JULIA SUÁREZ-KRABBE is Associate Professor of Cultural Encounters at the Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University. Her work centers predominantly on racism, human rights, development, knowledge production, education, and decolonization. She is the author of “Race, Rights and Rebels: Alternatives to Human Rights and Development from the Global South” (2016).

ANNIKA LINDBERG is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Sociology, University of Bern. Her doctoral project, “Governing the Deportation Limbo,” explores state strategies for governing deportable noncitizens via an ethnography of detention and departure centers in Denmark and Sweden. She is coauthor of the collaborative ethnography Migrants Before the Law: Contested Migration Control in Europe (2019).

Migration and Society

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