DOI: 10.1177/01622439231221608 ISSN: 0162-2439

A Contested Script: Conjuring Security through Registration in Italy

Enrico Gargiulo
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

This article aims to map out the various meanings of security entailed by the different uses and misuses of registration in Italy. As will emerge from this analysis, population registers have been employed either as tools for observing the population and its dynamics or, on the contrary, as devices for identifying its “deserving” members. By drawing this map, this article contributes to the analysis of the “technical shaping of social outcomes” that is at the center of the special issue on the continuum between contingency and obduracy in sociotechnical practices of securitization. Theoretically, population registers are framed in the article as socio-technical and socio-legal devices which embed scripts. As will emerge, they have been historically sub-scribed, de-scribed, or de-inscribed by their users. Methodologically, this analysis relies on a research path focused on registration as a bordering device which has been conducted over the last ten years through several methodological approaches and on a research/action experience which was launched in 2020. Through the author’s participation in a group of political activists, nongovernmental organization members, lawyers, and scholars who are committed to combatting discriminations, original ethnographic, documentary, and discursive data have been collected.

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