At the edges of citizenship
: Documenting life experiences of Syrian displaced people with biopolitical state strategies of hospitality and security in Algeria

  • Sarra Menal Ferkache

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis offers qualitative evidence for why post-colonial citizenship in Algeria retains its legal-constitutional, nationalistic, and societal norms and values when it comes to meeting the needs of the Syrian displaced community in Algeria. The history of resistance to colonial governance has meant a constant reinvention of the State’s norms of exclusion and inclusion. Using Foucault’s analysis of biopolitical governmentality, this thesis shows how the Algerian state’s response, especially after the migrant emergency in Europe in 2015, has circumscribed the bounds of Algerianness in order to preserve the norms of citizenship from challenge. Unlike the European ideal of cosmopolitan citizenship in the context of a global refugee crisis, Algerian state norms and values have been shaped by three rationalities that have paradoxical outcomes. These rationalities are: hospitality, which is governed by rationalities of faith (Islam) and Pan-Arabism / Arabness; the state’s political concern with territorial security that are governed by rationalities of nationalism and security; and the state’s capacity to cope with the phenomenon of mass human movement in the 21st century (humanitarian support). Algeria’s strategies manifest a power game between nationalism and security within the state’s conceptions of Algerian citizenship and its openness towards non-citizens. This qualitative investigation uses sociological analysis to argue that the flow of Syrian refugees is managed according to these three rationalities of nationalism, security, pan-Arabism / Arabness and Islamic values.
    Date of AwardDec 2020
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorNaheem Jabbar (Supervisor), Julia Brown (Supervisor) & Diana Martin (Supervisor)

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