Undoing borders, building the commons: the solidarity politics of the No Evictions Network in Glasgow

Santamarina Guerrero, Ana (2023) Undoing borders, building the commons: the solidarity politics of the No Evictions Network in Glasgow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is about the spatial politics of migrant solidarities. Drawing on a scholaractivist approach, it engages with the struggles of the No Evictions Network in Glasgow. The Network emerged through the convergence of heterogeneous trajectories of activism and migrant advocacy in the city to challenge the eviction of over 300 asylum seekers by Serco, a multinational company that held a billionaire contract from the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers in Glasgow and other areas across the UK. Bringing literature on Black Geographies to the analysis of the border regimes, the thesis positions migrant struggles in relation to black counter cartographies of struggle. Centring questions of race, it reframes current work on migration and solidarity through a nuanced engagement with black and feminist theories, making important interventions. On the one hand, engaging with the role that neoliberal companies like Serco develop within the political economies of the border and the production of migrants’ ‘premature death’ (Gilmore, 2007), the thesis addresses the Network’s politics as struggles against racial capitalism (Robinson, 1983). A focus on racial capitalism unpacks the articulations of racism, capitalism, or patriarchy underlying the struggles against borders, throwing light on the importance of building transversal alliances. The coming together of migrant collectives, housing struggles, and neighbours in the Network was an example of such alliances. Nevertheless, the political experiences of the Network illustrate how the crafting of solidarities and the negotiation of heterogeneous political cultures unfolds as a contentious process, crisscrossed by racialized, classed, and gendered borders (Featherstone, 2012). In this regard, special attention is drawn to the negotiation of power asymmetries and the tensions between strategies of ‘direct support’ and ‘political campaigning’ throughout the Network’s campaigns. The argument explores how migrant agencies performed powerful strategies of mutual support, collective empowerment, and healing, challenging racialized and gendered notions of the political and activist cultures. Building upon these experiences, the concept of ‘political reproduction’ underscores how social reproductive politics not only enable migrants’ survival across the deadly geographies of racial capitalism, but they are the means to build capacity of political struggle, linking to broader black and brown politics. Overall, the thesis explores how ‘undoing borders’ is an ongoing learning process that demands centring questions of antiracism and migrant agency when tackling the intertwining oppressions coming to the fore through place-based struggles (hooks, 2013; Mohanty, 2003).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Featherstone, Dr. David and Karaliotas, Dr. Lazaros
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83389
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2023 12:09
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 08:43
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83389
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/83389

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