54 / 2021
Stefania Spada

Old Rhetoric and New Devices: Quarantine Ships as an Instrument of Externalization

The article aims to illustrate and explore the rhetoric and institutional approach toward migrants – asylum seekers in particular – undertaken by Italy following the COVID-19 crisis. Through the account of the different “narrative phases” and the consequent institutional action undertaken, this article intends to demonstrate how the health crisis has sharpened and even intensified pre-existing attitudes and practices. The actions taken in the last year can be understood as a further step in the process of externalizing the borders. Through the instrumental use of rhetoric and illegitimate practices, a sort of de-territorialization has been implemented through the use of quarantine ships.
KEYWORDS: asylum seekers, COVID-19, quarantine ships, rhetoric, externalization