STATE OF EMERGENCY. A reading of social space in Europe


  • Chiara Davino
  • Lorenza Villani




The contemporary urgency to face increasingly complex threats has consolidated a form of governance based on the logic of risk and the worst case scenario. Under this political regime, states of emergency and exception have progressively normalised. It follows the constant introduction of exception devices – ban-opticon – aimed at excluding specific groups framed by institutions as potential threats. These instruments act on space, both physical and virtual, configuring it in sequences of refuge spaces – to protect themselves from external threats – and enclave spaces – to close groups of people considered as threats.

Starting from the condition of emergency and the spatialization of its effects, the Schengen refuge space and the Mediterranean enclave, whose borders take on different meanings and forms depending on the subject related to them, are investigated. The authors argue that multiple and heterogeneous states of crisis reveal the spatio-temporal and processual nature of contemporary borders.


Keywords: state of emergency, European refuge and enclave, logic of risk, physical and digital space.

Thematic clusters: 3. Urban dynamics Topic: Post-crisis cities and socio-spatial dynamics






Sede Lisboa