Navigating the Central Mediterranean in a time of ‘crisis’: Disentangling migration governance and migrant journeys

Simon McMahon, Nando Sigona

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)
    26 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    From 2014 to the end of 2016, over 450,000 people crossed from North Africa towards Italy via the Central Mediterranean route. The number of people recorded as dead or missing in the same stretch of water has steadily increased too. Crisis-talk in the region has led to renewed efforts by the European Union and its Member States to govern and control migration to and across the Central Mediterranean. Against this backdrop, this article draws upon over two hundred interviews with newly arrived boat migrants and fifty-five stakeholders in Italy to reveal a fundamental disjuncture between the drivers and dynamics of migration and the assumptions underpinning policy development whose saliency becomes apparent at three crucial junctions: along migration land routes, at sea, and upon arrival in Europe. In doing so, the article questions current ways of understanding journeys in research and policy, and highlights their consequences for the governance of migration.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)497-514
    Number of pages18
    JournalSociology
    Volume52
    Issue number3
    Early online date27 Mar 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

    Keywords

    • Borders
    • Migration
    • Mediterranean
    • Governance
    • Europe
    • Refugee Crisis

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