Civil Society Actors and the 2020 Italian Amnesty: Bordering to Deborder?

Minke Hajer, Paola Bonizzoni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Using the 2020 regularisation of irregular migrant workers in Italy as a case study, the paper inquires about the role of Civil Society Actors (hereafter CSAs) in (de/re)bordering processes. Conceptualising borders as filters that draw distinctions through the sociocultural, legal and administrative constructs of deservingness entailed by immigration policymaking, the paper shows that, when implementing the regularisation programme, CSAs reproduce governmental distinctions between deserving and undeserving migrant workers and employers. However, CSAs can also find ways to challenge or circumvent internal borders, broadening the range of legitimate potential applicants through more or less visible and confrontational struggles, bending or even breaking the rules. In doing so, they redefine internal borders through alternative definitions of migrants’ deservingness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-60
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Intercultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • amnesties
  • Borders
  • civil society
  • immigration policies


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