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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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A Contested Crisis: Policy Narratives and Empirical Evidence on Border Deaths in the Mediterranean

Elias Steinhilper and Rob Gruijters

This study contributes to our understanding of border deaths in the Mediterranean region in three ways: it describes and evaluates recent data sources on migration and mortality; it provides a descriptive statistical analysis of absolute and relative mortality risks between 2010 and 2016; and it assesses the relationship between European border policy and border deaths.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2018

Death and suffering of migrants at Europe’s Mediterranean Sea border has become one of the defining moral and political issues of our time. While humanitarian organizations argue that deaths result from Europe’s policy of exclusion and closure, those employing a deterrence-oriented narrative have argued for even stricter border controls. Perhaps because of its contentious nature, the debate is often devoid of systematic information on the drivers and dynamics of border deaths. This study contributes to our understanding of border deaths in the Mediterranean region in three ways: it describes and evaluates recent data sources on migration and mortality; it provides a descriptive statistical analysis of absolute and relative mortality risks between 2010 and 2016; and it assesses the relationship between European border policy and border deaths. Our findings challenge the dominant deterrence-oriented policy narrative and highlight the failure of European authorities to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Steinhilper, Elias and Gruijters, Rob (2018) "A Contested Crisis: Policy Narratives and Empirical Evidence on Border Deaths in the Mediterranean", Sociology, 52(3)

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0038038518759248

News

05/03/2019

A dialogue on labour, trade unions and conflicts

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On the 22nd of March, from 4pm to 7pm, Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore) and Maurizio Landini (Secretary General of CGIL) will discuss about labour, trade unions and conflicts.

05/02/2019

Call for Papers - Social Movements and Parties in a Fractured Media Landscape

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day symposium held under the auspices of the journal ‘Information, Communication & Society’ (iCS) at the Centre on Social Movement Studies, 1-2 July 2019.

04/02/2019

17 Fully funded 4-years PhD positions in Political Science and Sociology and in Transnational Governance, Scuola Normale Superiore

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The grant is for 4 years. It is open to students of all nationalities. Coverage of research expenses (conferences, summer schools, research periods abroads) is provided.

Publications

Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.