Digital registration of migrants as co-production of citizens, territory and Europe

Processing Citizenship's main objectives

Processing Citizenship asks how data infrastructures and practices for foreign population management shape the Europan order while processing Alterity. To answer this overarching question, it pursues three interrelated main objectives.


1. To understand how migrants’ identities are shaped by registration and identification infrastructures and practices, and how migrants adapt or resist them. Drawing upon actor-network theory’s script approach, this objective articulates two sub-questions. On one hand, it focuses on which types of data about migrants are “inscribed” in information systems; on the other hand, it asks whether the expected bearers of those identities accept, mediate or refuse them.


2. To understand how institutional relationships (e.g., between Member States and Europe, authorities and contractors, humanitarian actors and international organizations) are shaped by data infrastructures and practices for alterity processing. Notably, this objective focuses on how institutional boundaries are challenged by data collection, processing, storage, matching, distribution, and how institutional identities are re-enacted. Furthermore and crucially, it asks whether new hybrid and multi-scalar orders of authority emerge.


3. To understand how modernist conceptualizations of space are challenged by data infrastructures for population management. As the contiguous Euclidean map has been replaced by non-contiguous media technologies, like the relational database, as the topologically organized medium of incipient forms of distributed authority, the Project asks how this is affecting the way we conceptualize the coupling of territory and population.