‘Wir schaffen das’: Hope and Hospitality Beyond the Humanitarian Border

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    This article examines how hope for a different culture of hospitality has been articulated during the long summer of migration of 2015 in Germany by juxtaposing Angela Merkel’s ‘Wir schaffen das’ speeches with the cross-border migrant March of Hope. The article suggests that while Merkel’s rhetoric opens the horizon to a more hospitable Europe, her policies of humanitarian securitisation ultimately redistribute hope away from migrants and towards a German nation imagined to be in need of protection from them. Subsequently, the article turns to the March of Hope to see how the gesture of hospitality embedded in Merkel’s rhetoric was reinterpreted and resisted. It shows that cross-border marches reveal affective infrastructures of care and hospitality that extend beyond the humanitarian border enacted by the state. These infrastructures provide the space for intimate negotiations of citizenship in which the relationality of social life is not framed through the racialised emergency logics of biopolitical control.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)743-759
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Sociology
    Issue number3
    Early online date25 Feb 2021
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


    • migration
    • borders
    • affect
    • hope
    • humanitarianism
    • hospitality
    • Germany


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