Acts of Disengagement in Border Struggles: Fugitive Practices of Refusal

Isabel Meier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores people's acts of disengagement from activist campaign and group spaces in the context of border struggle activism in Germany and the UK as fugitive practices of refusal. These acts of disengagement took the form of remaining silent or intentionally distracted, sleeping during activist meetings, distancing oneself from activist groups during conversations, or completely withdrawing from these spaces. The paper approaches these acts, first, as practices of refusal that expose notions of the political rooted in liberal struggles over power and freedom as not only risky but also inherently self-defeating and, second, as radically optimistic and vitalising practices of recovery and care that insist on alternative modes of thinking, practising, and experiencing sociality and the political that can inspire us to consider political agency in relation to wider abolitionist projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1860-1876
Number of pages17
Issue number6
Early online date22 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Cite this