Displacement, Law and Time (2021)

Dr. Nicole Hoellerer has presented a paper at the Maynooth University (Ireland), Department of Geography workshop Displacement, Law and Time (4-5 November, virtual), organised by Dr. Malene Jacobsen.

We presented our work titled ‘Waiting as probation: Selecting self-disciplining asylum seekers‘, based on the paper

Vianelli, Lorenzo; Gill, Nick and Hoellerer, Nicole (2021) Waiting as probation: Selecting self-disciplining asylum seekers. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.1926942 (open access, see here).

in the panel ‘Legal temporalities, exceptions and new normalities’ (4 November 2021), chaired by Dr. Sasha Brown (Maynooth University, ROI).

More information on the paper here.


Waiting as probation: Selecting self-disciplining asylum seekers

This presentation is based on a paper in which we diagnose and critique a type of governmentality associated with waiting during protracted asylum appeal procedures by drawing upon data from ASYFAIR, our multi-methodological study of asylum adjudication in Europe.

Focusing on Austria, Germany and Italy, we explore the use of integration-related considerations in asylum appeal processes by looking at the ways in which these considerations permeate judges’ decision-making, particularly, but not exclusively, on the granting of national, non-EU harmonised protection statuses. Building on insights from the literature on conditional integration we question the implicit socio-political biases and moral assumptions that underpin this permeation. We show that the use of integration-related considerations in asylum appeals transforms migrant waiting into a period of probation during which rejected asylum seekers’ conducts are governed and tested in relation to the use of time. More than simply waiting patiently, rejected asylum seekers are expected to wait productively, whereby productivity is assessed through the neoliberal imperatives of entrepreneurship, autonomy and self-improvement.

We thus contribute to scholarship on migrant waiting by moving beyond an emphasis on the contradictory character of waiting, as both imposition and potentiality, and show how time is capitalised by state authorities even when – and actually because – it offers opportunities for migrants.

Keywords: Governmentality; waiting; productive time; asylum adjudication; refugee integration; humanitarian protection; asylum seekers