Rules, Papers, Status: Migrants and Precarious Bureaucracy in Contemporary Italy
Book by Anna Tuckett
Review by Tiziana Caponio
Tiziana Caponio of the Migration Policy Institute, EUI, and the University of Turin reviews Rules, Papers, Status: Migrants and Precarious Bureaucracy in Contemporary Italy by Anna Tuckett. In this book, Tuckett highlights the complex processes of inclusion and exclusion produced through encounters with immigration law. She explores how statuses of “legal” or “illegal,” which media and political accounts use as synonyms for “good” and “bad,” “worthy” and “unworthy,” are not created by practices of border-crossing, but rather through legal and bureaucratic processes within borders devised by governing states. Taking migrants’ interactions with immigration regimes as its starting point, this book sheds light on the productive nature of legal and bureaucratic encounters and the unintended consequences they produce. Rules, Paper, Status argues that successfully navigating Italian immigration bureaucracy, which is situated in an immigration regime that is both exclusionary and flexible, requires and induces culturally specific modes of behavior. Exclusionary laws, however, can transform this social and cultural learning into the very thing that endangers migrants’ right to live in the country.
Read the book review at https://doi.org/10.1177/0197918319855069.