'Rethinking Refugees' examines the ways in which refugees have been made objects of the complex discourse, practices, and strategies of humanitarianism making visible the link between our knowledge of refugees and questions about the changing status of political power, space, and identity.
By challenging the state's prerogative to distinguish between insiders and outsiders, citizens and non-citizens, political movements by and in support of migrants and refugees are forcing questions about what criteria, if any, can and should be used to determine who can claim membership in the political community. To illustrate the complexity of this politics this article analyzes the major demand that underscores every campaign undertaken by non-status refugees and migrants in Canada: a program that would allow them to "regularize" their status. Notably, these campaigns are being directed at both the state and city levels of governance. Together, these are two sites in which claims and counter-claims about community, belonging, and citizenship are being made by, for, and against non-status immigrants. In each case, migrant political agency is asserted in places meant to deny, limit, or repress it. The article argues that the significance of these sites is that they allow for non-status refugees and migrants themselves to act as mediators or translators between the city and nation, between polis and cosmopolis.
This article assesses the challenges to a key 'anti-policy' within anti-terrorism: the detention of terror suspects. It analyses the global response to the 2005 kidnapping of a Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq. Particular focus is given to how detainees in the 'War on Terror' emerged as key spokespeople in the attempt to influence the actions of the kidnappers. So-called 'terror detainees' in the UK and Canada made several appeals for mercy and wrote letters establishing their solidarity with the CPT hostages. Drawing on the political theory of Jacques Ranciere, the article analyses examples of detainee or hostage solidarity as acts of political subjectification. Detention is analysed as a site where key political dynamics are enacted. For detainees to articulate a grievance as an equal or enact an international solidarity is a radical political moment that serves to disrupt the routines and normalizations of the anti-policy of detention.