An(Other) History of the US-Mexico Border: Securitization, Control, Resistance

Posted: 22 Feb 2011

Date Written: February 1, 2011

Abstract

Through an analysis of the growing use of security technologies for border controls between the USA and Mexico, this paper examines the transformations in the exercise of power which are involved in the emergence of a highly securitized and technologized border in order to explore possibilities of resistance vis-a-vis the way power operates. First, I argue that the emergence of a highly securitized and technologized border is one manifestation of what Deleuze calls the society of control. In this society, the border is a node that acts as potential gate or filter of a rhizomatic assemblage that monitors bodies crossing the border through the management and sharing of databases. A risk management logic is heretofore applied to control the access/rejection of these bodies, leaving the possibility of contest a daunting challenge. Thus, I suggest that resistance vis-a-vis the way power operates at the border lies in the possibility of creating new competing narratives of the experience of the US-Mexico border. To locate these, I look at artistic representations that work towards the creation of new spaces, new subjectivities, and new identities that could dispel the values conveyed by the discourse of control now underpinning border management. By analyzing different pieces of work that put forward a polymorphous, polyglot, and hybrid border subject, I will demonstrate how creative resistance at the US-Mexico border opens a space where the discourse of control can be escaped.

Suggested Citation

Locas, Marie-Chantal, An(Other) History of the US-Mexico Border: Securitization, Control, Resistance (February 1, 2011). Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1767038

Marie-Chantal Locas (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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