About 700 European children are stranded with their mothers in the detention camps in northeast Syria. They are children of European departees who travelled to the Levant after 2012 to join one of the fighting forces against the Syrian regime. Most European countries refuse to repatriate these children because of their parents, who are considered terrorists. This paper investigates the status of these children through the analysis of the political and media-debates and ongoing collaborative ethnographic research in Belgium. We argue that these children reside in a condition of virtual innocence, which is characterized by a continuous interrogation of their social, political, and ontological status as well as their right to life. This condition of virtual innocence also sheds a different light on the state of exception: rather than being expressed through a permanent ban, it becomes manifested through an undecided and pending inclusion into the bios.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)854-874
Aantal pagina's21
TijdschriftEthnic and Racial Studies
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
StatusPublished - 2023

Bibliografische nota

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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