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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

22/07/2019

Protest for a future: international report on #FridaysForFuture and the climate strike

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Composition, mobilization and motives of the participants in Fridays For Future climate protests on 15 March 2019, in 13 European cities. A multi-country collaboration report, with contributions from COSMOS researchers Lorenzo Zamponi, Donatella della Porta, Martín Portos, Niccolò Bertuzzi and Daniela Chironi.

21/06/2019

Call for papers: "The Nation and the Radical Left - Practices and Discourses of National Identity in Left-Wing Politics"

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The call for papers is now open for a conference on national identities and left-wing politics.

18/06/2019

Call for papers: “Class without consciousness” – The Politics of Fragmented Class Identities

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The call for papers is now open for a two-day conference on class and identities at the Scuola Normale Superiore on 14-15 November 2019

Publications

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.

Journal Article - 2019

The Modern Prince and the Sociological Imagination

Riccardo Emilio Chesta, Michael Burawoy
Michael Burawoy in Conversation with Riccardo Emilio Chesta