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N.2/2018 Dell'Uomo e dei Diritti

The colonial strikes back.
Rappresentazione e governance dell’“emergenza migratoria” in Italia nel paradigma del diritto e del sapere eurocentrici

Carla Panico

Published in December, 2018

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The colonial strikes back. Representation and governance of the “migratory emergency” in Italy under the paradigm of Eurocentric law and knowledge


The aim of this text is to draw a picture of how the representation of contem- porary migratory phenomena deals with the dominant hegemonic paradigm in Europe. In particular, contemporary Italy – as it is located at the center of the Mediterranean and therefore crossed by enormous migratory flows – is a privi- leged place to investigate how the theme of migration is functional, in European societies, to the demarcation of new and multiple abyssal lines (Sousa Santos 2015). The method I intend to use is to read the system of representation and management of the “migration crisis” in Italy within the paradigm of an abyssal thinking: in particular, this system of representation and management is based on the two categories of modern knowledge and modern law as the maximum representation of Western abyssal thought. The hypothesis to prove is that the abyssal line – traced by the migratory phenomena – crosses and structures, to- day, the European society – the one of the Italian national state, in our case – as a whole, and not only in its “racialized” population segment: what we intend to investigate is a mechanism of colonial power – and therefore of exclusion, ex- ploitation and production of absence – exercised within a global North.


Migrations, Abyssal Line, Clandestinity, Modern Knowledge, Modern Law.

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