Muslim Ceutíes, Migrants, and Porteadores: Race, Security, and Tolerance at the Spanish-Moroccan Border

David Moffette


Abstract. This article analyzes the differential problematizations of “Muslim Ceutíes,” “migrants,” and “porteadores” (carriers) in the Spanish border town of Ceuta located on the south shore of the Gibraltar Strait in North Africa. I argue that convivencia, a local discourse and practice of tolerance meaning “living together,” can be analyzed as a regime for governing differences premised on tolerance, and nevertheless contributing to the reproduction of a racialized and unequal social order. I also discuss the securitization of the border and argue against considering desecuritization and depoliticization as antidotes to securitization. I suggest that these strategies are complementary components of a flexible regime for managing the supposed threat posed by migrants in Ceuta. I further substantiate the thesis of a flexible regime for governing risks at the border by showing how various border crossers are framed and governed in Ceuta.

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