At Europe's Edge: Migration and Crisis in the Mediterranean

ISBN : 9780198842514

Cetta Mainwaring
256 Pages
153 x 234 mm
Pub date
Aug 2019
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The Mediterranean Sea is now the deadliest region in the world for migrants. Although the death toll has been rising for many years, the EU response remains fragmented and short sighted. Politicians frame these migration flows as an unprecedented crisis and emphasize migration control at the EU's external boundaries. In this context, At Europe's Edge investigates why the EU prioritizes the fortification of its external borders; why migrants nevertheless continue to cross the Mediterranean and to die at sea; and how EU member states on the southern periphery respond to their new role as migration gatekeepers. The book addresses these questions by examining the relationship between the EU and Malta, a small state with an outsized role in migration politics as EU policies place it at the crosshairs of migration flows and controls. The chapters combine ethnographic methods with macro-level analyses to weave together policymaker, practitioner, and migrant experiences, and demonstrate how the Mediterranean is an important space for the contested construction of 'Europe'. This book provides rich insight into the unexpected level of influence Malta exerts on EU migration governance, as well as the critical role migrants and their clandestine journeys play in animating EU and Maltese migration policies, driving international relations, and producing Malta's political power. By centring on the margins, the book pushes the boundaries of our knowledge of the global politics of migration, asylum, and border security.


1 Notes from the Mediterranean: Shipwrecks, Politics, and Death
2 Constructing Crises to Manage: Migration Governance and the Power to Exclude
3 Limits of Migration Management: Clandestine Journeys to Europe
4 At Europe's Edge: Arrival on the Maltese Islands
5 Lilliputian Power? Malta's 'Crisis'
6 The Future of Europe
Appendix: Reflections on Methods and Ethics

About the author: 

Cetta Mainwaring is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. She holds a DPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford and an MA in Sociology from City University, London. Dr Mainwaring's research interests lie at the intersection of migration, borders, and state controls. Her research projects have examined how European Union member states seek to control migration at the external border in the Mediterranean region and how these policies shape migrant experiences. This includes co-leading a collaborative, cross-regional project, 'Clandestine Migration Journeys', which examines the everyday experiences of migrants travelling without authorization and the ways they challenge and overcome restrictive policies and barriers they face along the route.

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