Call for Articles for the Special Issue: Biometrics: towards new political and technological configurations of identity

Guest editors:

Estela Schindel, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)

Paula Sibilia (Universidade Federal Fluminense, UFF, Brazil)


For this special issue Papeles del CEIC. International Journal on Collective Identity Research invites contributions that address the new challenges posed by the increasing expansion of biometric identification techniques.

The special issue seeks to problematize the ongoing transformations over the construction of "identity" associated with biometric technologies. We understand these to be the various ways of capturing, digitizing and storing information about the human body (fingerprints, irises, facial recognition, among others) or individual behavior (such as handwriting or walking patterns).

We depart from the assumption that the expansion of biometric technologies disrupts and destabilizes the terms under which the individual is inscribed and their identity recorded as we have known them, and that this poses questions that concern the very status of the human. Where does a “person” begin and end? To what extent does data constitute what a person “is”? Under analogue systems there used to be a protection of the physical body, as a sphere that was considered to be private, protected and ideally inviolable. Digital biometric technologies, instead, operate on the body and read it in ways that break down and expand what used to be considered the individual’s physical boundaries. For if the possibility of recording and collecting such data expands and emancipates it from the body from which it was extracted, what is the status of that “information”? How does this data relate to the organic reference from which it was captured and what (bio)political operations are at stake? Moreover, what forms of discrimination or racism lie behind the apparent aseptic, techno-scientific and neutral character of biometric technologies? How do they change the way of conceiving “the human”?

These transformations have consequences in terms of the right to privacy and data protection and concern the sense of the “inviolability” of the individual body. Beyond these questions though, they demand that we rethink the ways of conceiving the unity between the name or the civil identity and the body, as well as the “selfhood” of the person, including the assumption that the indicators of “identity” are given, univocal and stable.

The special issue aims to explore the various theoretical and political challenges posed by the expansion of biometric identification technologies and invites contributions that address their relationship to one or more of the following issues:


- State surveillance and policing.

- New configurations of the relation between the public and private spheres.

- Big data, algorithms and population control.

- Migrations and borders: delocalization and ubiquity of border control.

- Biometrics as a technology for standardization of bodies.

- New forms of racism, discrimination or exclusion.

- Facial recognition, iris, fingerprints and other body markers: where does “identity” lie?

- “Data double” and physical person: limits, definitions and reconfigurations.

- Contesting biometrics: Practices of resistance, evasion and dissent.

- How stable is a body? Fluid identities vs. data storage.

The articles must be sent through the journal's website and must comply with the rules for authors available at the following link:

In the submission, it must be indicated that the contribution is for the monograph on biometric identification.

Articles will be peer reviewed anonymously. (

Deadline for submissions: September 30, 2021

Expected publication date: Second issue of 2022

Texts will be accepted in Spanish, Portuguese, English, and Basque.



Papeles del CEIC:

Estela Schindel, Europa Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder):

Paula Sibilia, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Nitéroi, Brazil: