A significant feature of our increasingly globalized world is the intensified and accelerated movement of people. While sovereign states have the rights to control individuals and populations within their borders, human beings have the right to escape situations of persecution and violence by crossing national borders. This ethnographic study will show how difficult it is to find a balance between this rational politics and human ethics. This work explores and analyses the modalities by which the Greek state governs over Afghan refugees and asylum seekers on its grounds. Having its starting point in the everyday experiences and protection problems of Afghan refugees in Athens, the study sets off for investigations into two particular aspects of the Greek refugee regime: the migration management at the Greek borders, and the asylum process and asylum practice in Athens. By focusing on these two aspects, the work will reveal the highly imbalanced power distribution between the Greek sate and refugees. It shows that refugees and asylum seekers in Greece can be subjected to arbitrary state practices as well as to violent and excessive forms of state power. This small scale qualitative research initially reveals preliminary insights of the current practices of the Greek state in the political realm of migration.
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