567409 research-article2015 RAC0010.1177/0306396814567409Race & ClassTrubeta SAGE Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC ‘Rights’ in the grey area: undocumented border crossers on Lesvos Sevasti Trubeta Abstract: The Aegean island of Lesvos is one of the gateways that refugees and undocumented border crossers use for entering European territory. This study deals with two phenomena related to border crossings on Lesvos: first, the efforts of those arriving to be placed in the status of ‘administrative detention’ in order to receive an expulsion order and then be able to continue their journey; and, second, the activity of the local solidarity network, which initially established an open reception centre for refugees and undocumented immigrants under the umbrella of the civil society, until some activists agreed to put this project under the jurisdiction of the state authorities. In reflecting on these developments, the author addresses two major issues: first, immigration imprisonment as a facet of ‘positive power’ in the Foucauldian sense, and the possible relationship of the latter to grassroots humanitarian commitment; and, second, specific facets of the current paradigm of immigration imprisonment that can help explain why detention may be interpreted as a right by refugees and immigrants. The author argues that the humanitarianism that arises in the interface of surveillance and the provision of care demonstrates post-bureaucratic features; and further, that Sevasti Trubeta is currently Professor for Sociology at the University of the Aegean (Greece). She studied and earned her PhD in Sociology at Humboldt University, Berlin. She has published three monographs, several edited volumes and articles on refugees, immigrants, minorities, humanitarianism and eugenics, with a regional focus on South Eastern Europe, in English, German and Greek. Her most recent monograph is Physical Anthropology, Race and Eugenics in Greece, 1880s-1970s (Brill Academic Publishers, 2013). Race & Class Copyright © 2015 Institute of Race Relations, Vol. 56(4): 56­–72 10.1177/0306396814567409 http://rac.sagepub.com Downloaded from rac.sagepub.com at Oxford University Libraries on June 3, 2016

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