The usual threats to the settler state: Sergio Caggiano, Laura Mombello, ‘Immigrants and Indigenous Peoples in the Twists and Turns of Nationality and Citizenship: The Construction of Threats in Argentina (2015-2019)’, Historia y Sociedad, 39, 2020

18Oct20

Abstract: As part of research on social conflicts caused by the appropriation and use of lands and other spaces, this article addresses how the Argentine state constructed social threats between 2015 and 2019. The topics explored include who is construed as a threatening subject, the justification for using violence against these subjects and, more specifically, the notion of citizen versus foreigner used to legitimize the violence. By creating a threat, illegality is legally produced as part of the government’s concern for population security and circulation. Legislation, public debates, and national press coverage provide insight into these questions, as does the ethnographic fieldwork the authors have done with migrant organizations and rural and native communities since 1990. The state actions analysed herein should be understood as part of stricter control of migratory movements and borders in recent decades. But these global trends are linked to national and regional histories. In the policies implemented in Argentina between 2015 and 2019, two issues commonly viewed separately in the social sciences and public policies are connected: immigration/border crossing and the indigenous “problem.” Thus, the global rhetoric surrounding border control and illegality in Argentina refers to both non-nationals who move to the country and native groups who precede the nation-state. Although citizenship has been increasingly seen as separate from nationality, this article shows how the state continues to connect the two vis-à-vis the concept of foreignness. Additionally, it draws attention to how theoretical concerns about governmentality can be enriched by questions related to inequalities, disputes over goods and recognition, and, particularly, processes associated with accumulation by dispossession.



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