A Postcolonial Inquiry into Danish Politics of Displacement – University of Copenhagen

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A Postcolonial Inquiry into Danish Politics of Displacement

This three-year project examines continuities and ruptures between current and colonial Danish politics on spaces, borders and bodies. It does so by tracing the activities and understandings on displacement, forced migration and its ecological impact, from Danish colonial rule, in particular in the Danish Gold Coast (today Ghana) between 1754-1850 and the Danish West Indies (today US Virgin Islands) between 1754-1917, and comparing these with current Danish and EU refugee and border externalization policies. The project’s theoretical basis is multidisciplinary and based on critical geography, political philosophy, political ecology, racialization and de/postcolonial theory. Methodologically, genealogical inquiry, archival searches, qualitative fieldwork and discursive and normative analyses are combined in order to examine the nexus between forced migration, migration management, the production of racial hierarchies and the humanitarian, socioeconomic and ecological impact of displacement grids on regions holding different roles in capitalist geopolitics. The project asks crucial questions about mobility practices, past and present, thus adding historical, ecological and philosophical depth to Danish and European debates on the rationalities of spaces, borders and bodies..