“Time Bandits”: Time as a Factor of the “Criminalisation of Legality” of Asylum Seekers. An Example from Trieste, Italy

Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 81)


The recent migratory flow imposes a reflection surrounding the practices of subjectivation of immigrants inside the “welcoming/accommodation machine”. The extreme bureaucratisation, in the Italian case governed by the police and state apparatuses, unambiguously brings to light the extension of the administrative-technocratic dispositive that supports the actual practices of identification of subjects in late neoliberal societies from borders to the core of everyday life: cities. Even once through the border, asylum seekers condition is usually related to an absolute absence of documents—in French terms sans papiers—and is exactly the system of welcoming or accommodation that assumes the responsibility to fill this bureaucratic void in the life of immigrants. In addition to the sans papiers phenomenon, we witness another process of criminalisation: what we decided to address as “criminalisation of legality”. With this concept we describe a specific condition when an asylum seeker is de jure legalised—having applied and been recognised by the state apparatus as an asylum seeker—but de facto there are elements of discontinuity in this process marked by renewals of his permit of stay.


  1. Andrijasevic R, Walters W (2010) The international organization for migration and the international government of borders. In: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, XXVIII, pp 977–999Google Scholar
  2. Balibar E (2015) Europe and the refugees: a demographic enlargement. openDemocracy, 24 Sept 2015.
  3. Bourdieu P (1977) Outline of a theory of practice. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bove C (2015) Accoglienza ed esclusione: il sistema di accoglienza italiano. V.A. Il diritto d’asilo tra accoglienza ed esclusione (Edizioni dell’asino), pp 171–192Google Scholar
  5. Brambilla G (2015) Il percorso dei richiedenti protezione internazionale tra norme e prassi. Un’analisi sulla situazione esistente in Francia e in Svezia e uno sguardo al sistema italiano. V.A. Il diritto d’asilo tra accoglienza ed esclusione (Edizioni dell’asino), pp 94–170Google Scholar
  6. Brambilla M (2015) Il sistema comune europeo di asilo e la normativa italiana in materia di protezione internazionale. V.A. Il diritto d’asilo tra accoglienza ed esclusione (Edizioni dell’asino), pp 57–93Google Scholar
  7. Deleuze G, Guattari F (2004) A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. Continuum, LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013.
  9. Foucault M (1967) Of other spaces. In: Dehaene M, De Cauter L (eds) Heterotopia and the city: public space in a Postcivil Society. Routledge, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  10. Foucault M (1975) Discipline and punish: the birth of the prison (trans: Sheridan A, 1995)Google Scholar
  11. Foucault M (1980) The confession of the flesh (1977) interview. In: Gordon C (ed) Power/knowledge selected interviews and other writings, pp 194–228Google Scholar
  12. ICS and Caritas (2016) L’accoglienza e la tutela dei richiedenti asilo e titolari di protezione internazionale o umanitaria a TriesteGoogle Scholar
  13. Lipovec Čebron U, Gregorc T (2016) Asylum seekers—fellow citizens: decentralized models of the reception and accommodation of asylum seekers in Trieste. Časopis za Kritiko znanosti 44(264):194–202Google Scholar
  14. Mezzadra S (2004) The right to escape. Ephemera 4(3):267–275Google Scholar
  15. Mezzadra S (2017) Autonomia delle migrazioni. Lineamenti di un approccio teorico. Euronomade.
  16. Mezzadra S, Neilson B (2008) Border as method, or, the multiplication of labor.
  17. Ministero dell’Interno, Aprile 2017: È legge il decreto Minniti sul contrasto all’immigrazione illegal.
  18. Rapporto “L’immigrazione per lavoro in Italia: evoluzione e prospettive” pubblicato nel 2011 dal Ministero del lavoro e delle politiche socialiGoogle Scholar
  19. Regulation (EU) 604/2013 (sometimes the “Dublin III Regulation”).
  20. Savio G (2017) La legge 13 aprile 2017 n. 46 recante disposizioni urgenti per l’accelerazione dei procedimenti in materia di protezione internazionale, nonché per il contrasto dell’immigrazione illegale. Prime riflessioni interpretative.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TriesteItaly

Personalised recommendations