Reassembling the surveillable refugee body in the era of data-craving

Martin Lemberg-Pedersen, Eman Hassen Mohamed Haioty

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

26 Citationer (Scopus)
79 Downloads (Pure)


This article traces the travel of biometric data of Syrian refugees in Jordan through a hastily evolving political economy characterized by a pervasive craving for the extraction, storage and brokering of displacement data. It analyzes iris-enrollment as problematic acts of quasi-citizenship for the displaced requiring the performance of social and economic docility in order to attain identity, cash and service provision. Quasi-objects in the form of digital footprints are fashioned through infrastructures that simultaneously seek to model, yet fail to capture, socioeconomic existence in displacement contexts. Discourses of anti-fraud, donor dictates, upward accountability and strategies of financial inclusion of ‘the unbanked’, facilitate the marketization of the creation of data-doubles in laboratories of displacement and loopholes for externalization. Driven by increasingly blurred lines between technological, humanitarian and financial interests, this development has transformative effects on both those displaced, and on a humanitarian sector tasked with safeguarding their rights.

TidsskriftCitizenship Studies
Udgave nummer5
StatusUdgivet - 1 aug. 2020


  • Data
  • Displacement
  • Humanitarianism
  • Development
  • Financialization


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  • The Marketization of Displacement

    Lemberg-Pedersen, M.


    Projekter: ProjektForskning