Racism, migration and development: the foundations of planetary order

MR Duffield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Using Foucault's conception of racism and sovereign power as a point of departure, this paper examines an expansive and centralizing security architecture that interconnects the policing of international migration, the promotion of domestic social cohesion and the search for overseas development. Emerging with decolonization, the basis of this interdependence is a racial discourse that now takes a sociocultural rather than an outwardly biological idiom. The paper argues that this shift presages the collapse of the national and international divide within political imagination. It examines sustainable development as a biopolitical technology for containing a non-insured, that is, self-reliant species-life. Since the end of the cold war, and reinforced by the war on terrorism, the interconnection between racism, migration and development has underpinned an emerging regime of planetary order. While international support for the territorial integrity of the underdeveloped state remains, within such states sovereignty over life has become negotiable and contingent. On this basis, new possibilities present themselves to centralize power through directly linking the local with the local at the level of population. The paper concludes by examining the tendency towards biopolitical tyranny within planetary order.
Translated title of the contributionRacism, migration and development: the foundations of planetary order
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68 - 79
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Development Studies
Volume6 (1)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Sage Publications

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