Scale Shift and Transnationalisation Within Refugees’ Solidarity Activism. From Calais to the European Level

  • Javier Alcalde
  • Martín Portos
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Political Sociology book series (PSEPS)


In this chapter we explored the transnational dimension of the mobilisations of solidarity with refugees in Europe. Although some initiatives have a transnational aspiration, co-ordination of collective action and networks across borders is still unfolding. We focused on two poles in tension, Brussels and Calais, and scale shift dynamics. On the one hand, the Belgian capital is a central node for transnational collective action on—and the presence of institutional actors dealing with—refugees. Whereas large organisations rarely play a bridging role between grassroots initiatives and European stakeholders, some grassroots actors have nevertheless managed to achieve some access on their own. On the other hand, Calais’ local issue transcended domestic boundaries thanks to international flows of activists, opening up new avenues for further transnational co-ordination.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Javier Alcalde
    • 1
  • Martín Portos
    • 2
  1. 1.Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and Universitat Oberta de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Humanities and Social SciencesScuola Normale SuperioreFirenzeItaly

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