Published on March 3rd, 2013 | by Engin Isin


Migrants as activist citizens in Italy

Oliveri, F. (2012). “Migrants as activist citizens in Italy: understanding the new cycle of struggles.” Citizenship Studies 16 (5-6): 793-806. This article analyses a series of migrant mobilisations which took place in 2010 and 2011 throughout Italy: the unrest in Rosarno, the migrant general strikes on 1 March, the campaign and the strike against undeclared work in Nardo and the occupation of a construction crane in Brescia. Engin Isin’s principles of investigating acts of citizenship provide a theoretical background for understanding them as a coherent, new cycle of struggles in the crisis of neoliberalism. As proved by those mobilisations, migrants can significantly contribute to open the boundaries of neoliberal citizenship, when they construct themselves as activist citizens. Moreover, the contestation of an exclusionary, radicalised and competitive model of society can become a goal shared by migrants and nationals alike, opening up an alternative social model based on equal entitlements to rights, solidarity and real democracy.


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