Nations re-bound: Race and biopolitics at EU and US borders

John D. Márquez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Neo-liberalism is often described as a force that has un-bound the racial and ethnic uniformity of nations in the global north (Harvey 1989; Basch et al. 1993; Appadurai 1999; Gilroy 2002). In both the USA and Europe, a rising tide of anti-immigrant violence and criminalization suggests otherwise. Spain and the USA offer the most compelling locations from which to verify this claim. Both are nations whose identity has been forged via conquest and in opposition to racial ‘others’ residing across their southern borders. Both nations have also recently witnessed an unprecedented rash of anti-immigrant violence at the hands of state agents and vigilantes. Contrarily, both are also nations whose economies have been somewhat dependent on immigrant labour. As anti-immigrant repression is then irreducible to a neo-liberal economic strategy, the plight of Latin American and African immigrants in Spain and the USA seems to suggest that nations have also been re-bound, in the sense that the ethnic and racial diversity signified by immigrants has exacerbated anxieties about national identity. This re-fortification of nations calls attention to a time lag between our comprehension of the link between race and liberalism (Mills 1999; Goldberg 2002; Hesse 2007; Ferreira da Silva 2007) and the relevance of that link to relations of power in the now neo-liberal global north. This essay highlights the plight of immigrants in Spain and the USA and efforts by new grass-roots organizations to defend their human and civil rights, to theorize the sustained centrality of race to debates about nations and nationalism in the current moment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEurope in Black and White
Subtitle of host publicationImmigration, Race, and Identity in the 'Old Continent'
PublisherIntellect Ltd.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781841504452
ISBN (Print)9781841503578
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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