Sentiments of Bureaucracies: Affective Dynamics in the Digital Transformation of German Immigration Management

Individual project in the CRC 1171 “Affective Societies: Dynamics of social coexistence in mobile worlds”

Project duration: 2019-2023

Heads of project:

Dr. Larissa Vetters

Prof. Dr. Olaf Zenker

Staff members:

Dr. Timm Sureau

Rebekka Walter

Project description

This four-year project will ethnographically trace whether and how bureaucratic sentiments (understood as both evaluative emotional repertoires and regimes of meaning) change when digital technologies are introduced into the administrative process of determining asylum status or deciding on residence permits. We ask how these (digitalized)  bureaucratic sentiments affect the outcome of such decisions. The project thus raises fundamental questions regarding the emotional and affective dimensions of new modes of governance and their implications for negotiating citizenship rights and participation under conditions of globalization. Carried out in the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC; in German, Sonderforschungsbereich, SFB) Affective Societies at the Freie Universität Berlin, the project will contribute to the CRC’s overall aim to explore how societal transformations not only produce new affective dynamics, but are also brought about by the institutionalization of affective regimes. Based at the Law & Anthropology Department of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology at Martin Luther University Halle, the research team brings a particular perspective grounded in the interdisciplinary field of law and anthropology to this endeavour.

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