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

In this section you can find the project's articles, working papers and other outcomes


Articles, working papers and other outcomes will be published here for the duration of the project. Enjoy.

Pelizza, A. (2017), “Processing Citizenship. Digital registration of migrants as co-production of individuals and Europe”, EASST Review, 36(3).

This article presents the “Processing Citizenship” ERC project hosted by the STǝPS department, University of Twente, on the Journal of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST). Processing Citizenship asks how migration enacts Europe. Not a new question in itself, it is usually legally and politically answered. Differently, Processing Citizenship addresses it technically, by asking how data infrastructures for alterity processing co-produce individuals and Europe. The project is carried on by a team of six researchers with backgrounds in anthropology, computer science and sociology.

Dijstelbloem, H. and Pelizza, A. (forthcoming), ‘The State is the Secret. For a Relational Approach to Secrecy’, in Bosma, E., De Goede, M., Pallister-Wilkins, P. (Eds.), Secrecy and Methodology in Critical Security Research. London: Routledge.

Pelizza, A. (under revision), ‘Processing Alterity, Enacting Europe. Migrant registration as co-production of individuals and polities’, Science, Technology and Human Values.

This article introduces the concept of ‘alterity processing’ to account for the simultaneous enactment  of individual ‘Others’ and emergent European orders in the context of migration management. Alterity processing refers to the data infrastructures, knowledge practices and bureaucratic procedures through which populations unknown to European actors  are translated into ‘European-legible’ identities. By drawing on fieldwork conducted in Italy and the Hellenic Republic from 2017 to 2018, the article argues that different registration and identification procedures compete to legitimize different chains of actors, data and meta-data as more authoritative than others. Competing procedures have governance implications, as well, with some actors being included and others being excluded. Furthermore, there is evidence that – despite procedural rigidities – applicants themselves propose alternative chains of actors, data and meta-data which are more meaningful to them. In this tension, it is not only the individual Other that is enacted, but also specific bureaucratic orders cutting across old and new European actors, and distinctive understandings of ‘Europe’. All in all, from a technology studies perspective the article engages in a dialogue with studies on data performativity and state formation, studies on the infrastructural construction of Europe, an emerging scholarship on the European Hotspots and with political sociology.