Dispersal and dispossession as bordering: exploring migration governance through mobility in post-2013 Morocco

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Gazzotti, Lorena 
Hagan, Maria 

Dispersal has acquired an increasingly central role within state-led border control strategies in Europe and North Africa. Scholars have, however, tended to apprehend dispersal in its geographical dimension, failing to interrogate bordering beyond spatial distancing from the territorial edges of the state. Furthermore, dispersal strategies in non-European countries are underexplored. We start filling these gaps by examining how dispersal operates in Morocco – a country where, since the announcement of a new migration policy in 2013, the routine internal dispersal of groups of darkskinned people racially profiled as ‘illegal sub-Saharan’ by Moroccan police forces has become commonplace. Drawing on extensive qualitative fieldwork conducted between 2016 and 2019, as well press articles and NGO reports, we advance a dynamic understanding of bordering by analysing how the repeated spatial relocation of migrant people works through and in tandem with mechanisms of dispossession. We draw together literature on dispersal as migration governance and on dispossession as containment, proposing that dispersal activates practices of dispossession that expand the reach of bordering beyond spatial distance, turning it into an embodied technology: migrant people profiled as ‘sub-Saharan’ experience bordering as a form of inflicted hypermobility and a condition of protracted, unbearable living to which they are confined

44 Human Society, 4406 Human Geography, 4403 Demography
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The Journal of North African Studies
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Informa UK Limited
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