The management of migrants' emergency in Sicily (Italy), betweensuspension of rights and controversies of planning

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review


The attention of the media and international news is addressed to the migration issues, justduring the landings of illegal migrants, and especially when these landings are linked to thedeaths of migrants. However, for nearly thirty years, Sicily, among the Southern Europeanregions most affected by the phenomenon of migration flows, has assumed the role of “gate”which introduces to Europe from Africa, making a bridge among nearest worlds, but oftenextremely different. This condition is, in fact, a historical value, given that Sicily has alwaysbeen the crossroads of migration flows among Mediterranean Europe, Asia and Africa whichallowed the exchange among cultures, ethnicities and religions.When we talk about immigration in Sicily, therefore, we refer nowadays to a structural reality,which the Islanders have generally agreed with the sense of hospitality and openness. Overthe last thirty years, however, this phenomenon, to the different ways with which often occurs(the territorial scale of the phenomenon, the considerable increase of flows, the differentethnic groups, emerging conflicts and latent ones, the inadequacy of policies etc.) and inrelation to issues of inclusion/exclusion processes, poses many problems affecting even, froma social, spatial and economic point of view, urban and territorial planning (Sandercock,2000; Lo Piccolo, 2006).In particular, the controversial experience of the migrants’ reception centers, expected byItalian laws for the state of emergency generated by great flows of migrants, produces a stateof exception, characterized by the suspension of the rights/norms that is paradoxicallylegalized (Schmitt, 1922; Agamben, 2005).State of emergency and state of exception transform these centers in “juridically indistinctplaces” (Agamben, 2005), where migrants’ rights are temporally suspended.Agamben, in fact, argues that the state of exception, which was meant to be a provisionalmeasure, became in the course of the twentieth century a normal paradigm of government inemergency conditions.The aim of this paper is to explore the controversial and unclear role that planning, as policiesand spatial planning, carries out in the “migrants reception policies” related to realization ofthe reception centers. In these cases, planning is used as an instrument of oppression andexclusion (Sandercock 1998; Friedmann, 1973; Healey 1997), transforming the places ofreception in zones of subjugation and control.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015


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