Complejos industriales fronterizos globales: genealogías, epistemologías, sexualidades
Coeditors: Cristina Jo Pérez, Robert McKee Irwin, John Guzmán Aguilar
In late 2018, the world watched as a large group of asylum-seekers traveling from Central America to the United States’ southern border experienced the full force of an increasingly global Border Industrial Complex. Few would use the language of the Border Industrial Complex, but it was widely understood that the line between the US and Mexico would be amplified and protected by a dense network of various national, international, media, for-profit, and not-for profit organizations, which had been developed to respond to human flows across national boundaries and more specifically the boundaries between the global north and the global south. As the US and Mexico staged a confrontation with the thousands of refugees looking to flee violence and extreme poverty in their home countries, they intensified the use of a range of already common material and discursive tactics, including militarization, privatized policing, and racialized discourses of migrant threat meant to violently contain and control this “caravan of migrants.” In addition to the ways the state deployed the Border Industrial Complex, the caravan also illuminates the ways local actors and activists become entangled in the larger project of the Border Industrial Complex, profiting from the control of migration in often opaque and ambivalent ways.
To that end, we take up the Border Industrial Complex as it has been formulated and applied by Michael Dear and others to refer specifically to the collaborative web of governmental and commercial often racist and necropolitical interests that have emerged around borders such as that between the United States and Mexico, forming a vast infrastructure that profits from the detention and deportation of migrants as well as the various mechanisms of deterrence that put unauthorized migrants including refugees in extreme danger in attempting to cross borders. However, the essays gathered here look beyond these amply discussed industries of border militarization and securitization, and migrant criminalization and expulsion of the contemporary global north in its attempts to fortify its material and symbolic separation from the south. These essays push at the borders of the contemporary Border Industrial Complex, whether by looking back toward comparable border dynamics from other periods of history, or by considering industries not directly allied with governmental agencies and agendas that nonetheless profit from fortified border controls, or by thinking against the heteronormative assumptions underlying most discussion not only of the Border Industrial Complex, but of borders and migration in general.
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