Navigating the Central Mediterranean: experiences, discourses and responses

Key information

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Russell Square: College Buildings

About this event

Dr Nando Sigona (Birmingham)

Two broadly accepted assumptions seem to inform European public/policy discourse and understanding of boat migration across the Central Mediterranean, namely: boat migrants are mostly economic migrants and therefore ‘illegal’. Everyone moving across Africa wants to go to Europe from the start of their journey. The former tends to juxtapose the Central Mediterranean route to the Aegean one which, the discourse goes, instead is mostly used by ‘genuine’ refugees. The latter systematically underestimates the significance of intra-African mobility. Drawing on research carried out as part of the ESRC-funded MEDMIG project, in particular 202 interviews with newly arrived boat migrants and 55 stakeholders in Italy, the paper questions the validity of such assumptions and shows how both assumptions (mis)inform policy responses both on arrival, en route and post-arrival.

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Dr Nando Sigona Navigating the Central Mediterranean: experiences, discourses and responses

About the speaker

Nando Sigona is Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Institute of Research into Superdiversity at the University of Birmingham. His research interests include: statelessness, diasporas and the state; Romani politics and anti-Gypsyism; ‘illegality’ and the everyday experiences of undocumented migrant children and young people; and crisis, governance and governmentality of forced migration in the EU; Mediterranean boat migration; Brexit and intra-European migration; and unaccompanied youth migration. His work has appeared in a range of international academic journals, including Sociology, Social Anthropology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Identities, Citizenship Studies and Ethnic and Racial Studies. He is author or editor of books and journal’s special issues including The Oxford Handbook on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (with Fiddian Qasmiyeh, Loescher and Long, 2014), Sans Papiers. The social and economic lives of undocumented migrants (with Bloch and Zetter, 2014) and Diasporas Reimagined (with Gamlen, Liberatore and Neveu Kringelbach, 2015). Nando is also Associate Editor of the journal Migration Studies. He has written for Newsweek, The Independent, Libération, OpenDemocracy and The Conversation. He has held visiting research and teaching positions at University of Oxford, and the European University Institute.

Organiser: Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

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