Border Troubles: Medical Expertise in the Hotspots


The present contribution considers the “hotspot approach”, a distinct technology of management and control of mobility within the wider European border regime. This apparatus shows the linkage between the discourses and rationalities on security and humanitarianism, depicting what has been called the “humanitarian border”. To tackle these elements, the activities of medical staff inside the hotspot of Pozzallo, Italy, and their experiences and interactions with other actors are examined through ethnographic fieldwork, in-depth interviews and documentary analysis. The medical expertise is central in shaping procedures and practices of this border technology, outlining a double dimension of care and control in the border administration. Thus, the hotspot fulfils the differential containment and filtering of human mobility within the logic of humanitarian reason.

(eds.) Ambrosini M., Cinalli M., Jacobson D. Migration, Borders and Citizenship. Between Policy and Public Spheres.