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Abstract

This paper follows Thomas Faist's invitation to analyse the prominence that migration issues have acquired in European and North American political discourses and public perceptions. It situates mobility, beyond usual dichotomies between voluntary and forced migration, in the increasing global landscape of exclusion that characterizes today's world. It proposes as a working hypothesis that mobility can be seen as a testimony of the immorality of the global polity and as a political act subverting classical forms of state territoriality and contesting the distribution of wealth. This general point is illustrated with ethnographic vignettes on Afghans on the island of Lesbos, the port of entry in Europe for many of them, in Friuli, on the northeastern border of Italy, and finally in the jungle of Calais, where many candidates to asylum ended up in very precarious living conditions.

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