Advertisement

Beyond the Border Spectacle: Migration Across the Mediterranean Sea

  • Pierluigi Musarò
Chapter
Part of the Transnational Crime, Crime Control and Security book series (TCCCS)

Abstract

Focusing on the fight against irregular migration and its compassionate spectacularization, this chapter aims to bridge some of the gaps between media and migration research, investigating the crisis narrative depicted by different actors in the context of Mediterranean migrant tragedies. Through a critical analysis of discursive practices enacted by the European border control agency Frontex, the Italian Navy and the Italian Coast Guard, during the military–humanitarian operation Mare Nostrum, the chapter explores the contrasting, yet at times mutually influencing, representations of migrants, within the context of both humanitarian aid and border control. Drawing upon the ‘military–humanitarian border spectacle’ as a dispositif that is physically and symbolically enacted to legitimize the narrative of cosmopolitan solidarity—and to manage the moral panic surrounding migration—light is shed on how it contributes towards creating a ‘moral geography of the world’. The chapter concludes with remarks on how the dynamics between humanitarian protection and border control are central in legitimizing policies that filter human mobility, by categorizing humanitarian subjects as worthy or unworthy, desirable or undesirable, deserving or undeserving.

References

  1. Aalberts, T. E., & Gammeltoft-Hansen, T. (2014). Sovereignty at sea the law and politics of saving lives in mare liberum. Journal of International Relations and Development, 17, 439–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aas, K. F., & Gundhus, H. O. I. (2015). Policing humanitarian borderlands: Frontex, human rights and the precariousness of life. British Journal of Criminology, 55, 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agamben, G. (1998). Homo sacer: Sovereign power and bare life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Albahari, M. (2015). Crimes of peace: Mediterranean migrations at the world's deadliest border. Philadelphia: PENN.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andersson, R. (2014). Illegality, inc.: Clandestine migration and the business of bordering Europe. Oakland: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Balibar, E. (2004). Europe as borderland. Alexander von Humboldt Lectures in Human Geography, Institute for Human Geography, Univeriteit Nijmegen, viewed 4 November 2015. http://www.ru.nl/socgeo/colloquium/Europe%20as%20Borderland.pdf
  7. Bauman, Z. (2007). Consuming life. London: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bellu, G. M. (2004). I fantasmi di Porto Palo. Milano: Mondadori.Google Scholar
  9. Bigo, D. (1994). The European internal security field: Stakes and rivalries in a newly developing area of police intervention. In M. Anderson & M. Den Boer (Eds.), Policing across national boundaries. London: Pinter.Google Scholar
  10. Bigo, D. (2002). Security and immigration: Toward a critique of the governmentality of unease. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 27(1), 63–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Boltanski, L. (1999). Distant suffering: Morality, media and politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brian, T., & Laczko, F. (Eds.). (2014). Fatal journeys tracking lives lost during migration. Geneva: IOM.Google Scholar
  13. Calhoun, C. (2008). The imperative to reduce suffering: Charity, progress, and emergencies in the field of humanitarian action. In M. Barnett & T. Weiss (Eds.), Humanitarianism in question: Politics, power, ethics. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Calhoun, C. (2010). The idea of emergency: Humanitarian action and global (dis)order. In D. Fassin & M. Pandolfi (Eds.), Contemporary states of emergency. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  15. Castles, S., & Miller, M. J. (2009). The age of migration: International population movements in the modern world. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Chouliaraki, L. (2013). The ironic spectator. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  17. Consiglio Italiano per i Rifugiati [CIR]. (2007) Report Regarding Recent Search and Rescue Operations in the Mediterranean (online report), viewed 19 September 2015. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/hearings/20070703/libe/cir_report_en.pdf
  18. Couldry, N. (2010). Why voice matters: Culture and politics after neoliberalism. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  19. Cuttitta, P. (2014). Borderizing the island: Setting and narratives of the Lampedusa border play. Acme: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, 13(2), 196–219.Google Scholar
  20. Dal Lago, A. (1999). Non-persone: l'esclusione dei migranti in una società globale. Milano: Feltrinelli.Google Scholar
  21. Debord, G. (1995). The society of the spectacle. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  22. De Genova, N. (2013). Spectacles of migrant “illegality”: The scene of exclusion, the obscene of inclusion. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 36(7), 1180–1198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. de Haas, H. (2007). The myth of invasion: Irregular migration from West Africa to the Maghreb and the European Union (IMI research report). Oxford: University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  24. Edelman, M. (1977). Political language: Words that succeed and policies that fail. San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  25. Fassin, D. (2007). Humanitarianism as a politics of life. Public Culture, 19(3), 499–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fassin, D. (2012). Humanitarian reason: A moral history of the present. Berkeley: California Press.Google Scholar
  27. Fassin, D., & Pandolfi, M. (2010). Contemporary states of emergency. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  28. Frazer, E., & Hutchings, K. (2011). Remnants and revenants: Politics and violence in the work of Agamben and Derrida. British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 13(2), 127–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gamson, W. A., Croteau, D., Hoynes, W., & Sasson, T. (1992). Media images and the social construction of reality. Annual Review of Sociology, 18, 373–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gelatt, J. (2005). Schengen and the free movement of people across Europe. Migration Policy Institute, viewed 30 July 2015. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/schengen-and-free-movement-peopleacross-europe
  31. Hage, G. (2003). Against paranoid nationalism: Searching for hope in a shrinking society. Sydney: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  32. Horsti, K. (2012). Humanitarian discourse legitimating migration control: FRONTEX public communication. In M. Messier, R. Wodak, & R. Schroeder (Eds.), Migrations: Interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 297–308). Vienna: Springer Science & Business Media.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. IOM. (2015). Mediterranean migrants and refugees: Latest arrivals and fatalities, viewed 8 November 2015. http://www.iom.int/news/mediterranean-migrants-and-refugees-latest-arrivals-and-fatalities
  34. Jeandesboz, J., & Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2014). Crisis, enforcement and control at the EU borders. In A. Lindley (Ed.), Crisis and migration: Critical perspectives (pp. 115–135). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Kertzer, D. I. (1989). Ritual, politics, and power. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Kurasawa, F. (2015). How does humanitarian visuality work? A conceptual toolkit for a sociology of iconic suffering. Sociologica, il Mulino, 9(1), 1–59.Google Scholar
  37. Maalouf, A. (2000). In the name of identity: Violence and the need to belong. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  38. Mezzadra, S., & Neilson, B. (2013). Border as method, or, multiplication of labor. London: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moore, K., Gross, B., & Threadgold, T. R. (Eds.). (2012). Migrations and the media: Global crises and the media. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  40. Mountz, A. (2010). Seeking asylum: Human smuggling and bureaucracy at the border. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Musarò, P. (2011). Living in emergency: Humanitarian images and the inequality of lives. New Cultural Frontiers, 2, 13–43.Google Scholar
  42. Musarò, P. (2013). “Africans” vs. “Europeans”: Humanitarian narratives and the moral geography of the world. Sociologia della Comunicazione, 45, 37–59.Google Scholar
  43. Musarò, P., & Parmiggiani, P. (2014). Media e migrazioni: etica, estetica e politica della narrazione umanitaria. Milano: FrancoAngeli.Google Scholar
  44. Neal, A. W. (2009). Securitization and risk at the EU border: The origins of Frontex. Journal of Common Market Studies, 47, 333–356.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Paasi, A. (1996). Territories, boundaries and consciousness. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  46. Pastore, F., Monzini, P., & Sciortino, G. (2006). Schengen’s soft underbelly? Irregular migration and human smuggling across land and sea borders to Italy. International Migration, 44, 95–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sassen, S. (2009). Bordering capabilities versus borders: Implications for national borders. Michigan Journal of International Law, 30(3), 567–597.Google Scholar
  48. Silverstone, R. (1999). Why study the media? London: Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Simmel, G. (1983). Schriften zur soziologie. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.Google Scholar
  50. Taylor, C. (2002). Modern social imaginaries. Public Culture, 14(1), 91–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Tazzioli, M. (2015). Spaces for governmentality, autonomous migration and the Arab uprisings. London: Rowman & Littlefield International.Google Scholar
  52. Vaughan-Williams, N. (2008). Borderwork beyond inside/outside? Frontex, the citizen–detective and the war on terror. Space and Polity, 12(1), 63–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Walters, W. (2010). Imagined migration world: the EU and the discourse of anti-illegal immigration. In M. Geiger & A. Pecoud (Eds.), The politics of migration management (pp. 73–95). Houndmills: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Walters, W. (2011). Foucault and frontiers: Notes on the birth of the humanitarian border. In U. Bröckling, S. Krasmann, & T. Lemke (Eds.), Governmentality: Current issues and future challenges (pp. 138–164). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierluigi Musarò
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Business LawUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations