The Mediterranean Migrant Crisis: A Critical Challenge to Global Nation‐States

Working paper

Stokholm, Tim 2016. The Mediterranean Migrant Crisis: A Critical Challenge to Global Nation‐States. University of East London, Centre for Social Justice and Change.
AuthorsStokholm, Tim
TypeWorking paper

The present boat‐migration crisis in the Mediterranean Sea constitutes the greatest test to Western values and
humanitarianism in the region since World War II, an important challenge to the authority of nation‐states and
their role in an age of globalization. This working paper examines how the boat migrant phenomenon relates to
Europe's national and recent inner developments and the significance of these events for immigrants, the possible
outsiders in the formation of a new supranational Europe. The topic is investigated beyond the commonly
encountered explanations of criminal human smuggling and developmental failure, placing the problem within a
context of evolving nation‐states, border control practices and a dominant, ruthless global economy. It is found
that the phenomenon should not be understood merely as the response to unfavourable economic and political
circumstances but also as being closely linked to powerful socio‐cultural elements. It is argued that the
Mediterranean crisis amounts to a failure to manage modern migration flows, thereby resulting in rising death
tolls among boat migrants, many of whom are refugees or migrant workers on their way to the safety and an
irregular labour market found in Europe. The working paper uncovers how Europe and the West are partially to
blame for the tragedies and the current disorder around the Mediterranean region. It is a narrative of human
history, identity and contrasts, and a Euro‐centric relationship with the neighbours in Africa and the Middle East,
where a one‐sided immigration apparatus operates in the face of numerous refugees and expelled people with
nothing to lose.

PublisherUniversity of East London, Centre for Social Justice and Change
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintJan 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited02 Feb 2016
Copyright holderUniversity of East London
Copyright information© University of East London 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Series Working Papers
Publisher's version
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