Abstract: Rajaram

Equality, Solidarity and Common Marginality: thinking connections between migrants and other subaltern groups

Migrants and refugees, and their mobilities, are often seen by both scholarship and policy as phenomena ‘outside’ of the social formations and power structures ‘inside’ nation-states. This has led to questions of equality and rights being asked in an ‘integration’ framework or by referencing new forms of community.  Against this, it may be possible to see migrants and refugees as subject to forms of government and marginalisation by state and capitalist forces that are similar to marginalised communities ‘within’ nation states.  This talk will explore connections between the marginalisation of migrants and that of groups domestic to the state.  The primary aim is to explore how migrant marginalisation is connected to relations between global capitalist accumulation and its attendant forms of dispossession and racialisation that marginalises different groups as a way of reproducing (and normalising) privilege and inequality Against this is a complex ideological political architecture that describes migrants as externalised entities giving rise to ethnic or race-based populist politics.   Understanding the common marginalisation of migrants and other groups is a way to rehistoricise the issue: connecting the common marginalisations of migrants and others to the reproduction of class privilege and associated forms of ethnically based populist politics.  What may be gained by thinking migrants to Europe as subjects of history commonly marginalised along with other often racialised domestic populations?  One contribution may be how we think of relations of equality and solidarity.  It may enable thinking equality and solidarity from common positions of marginalisation before political, social and economic forces that reproduce privilege and inequality and may give onus to class-based forms of solidarity rather than ethnically-tinged fragmentation instigated by populist politics.