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


Processing Citizenship adopts a script analysis methodology which compares on the one hand how knowledge about individuals is formalized in the information systems used for migration management by national and European authorities, and on the other hand the actual ontologies, reactions and identification practices deployed to "process alterity." Our method is inspired by the script-analysis approach developed by the earlier sociology of translation (Akrich and Latour 1992). While information system design is highly formalized, we are interested in investigating the situated, informal and alternative use of those systems.

The script analysis drafts a typology of “intended migrants” -  i.e. migrant identities inscribed in information systems - and compares them along three different dimensions:

  1. similarities and differences among diverse information systems' ontologies developed by Member States, European agencies and international organizations, and the ethical and cultural values that are embedded in such databases;
  2. migrants’ reactions and practices accepting (“subscribing”) or resisting (“dis-inscribing”) those intended identities;
  3. the actual practices carried out at the border by street-level officers.