Title: Rescuing, kidnapping, and criminalising. Migration containment in the Mediterranean

Authors: Glenda Garelli; Martina Tazzioli

Addresses: School of Geography, University of Leeds, Seminary St, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK ' Department of Politics, Goldsmiths University, 8 Lewisham Way, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK

Abstract: This work investigates the government of migration from the angle of containment arguing that borderwork increasingly focuses on smuggling activities to achieve migration containment goals. The paper looks at three recent evolutions in the politics of containment in the central Mediterranean, and particularly in the corridor connecting Libya and Italy. First, we look at the practice of blocking migrants at sea upon rescue, what we call the politics of migrant kidnapping. Second, we study the statecraft of civil society into a smuggling organisation by policy - what we call the smugglerisation of civil society - by looking at governments' actions against those who rescue migrants whose boats are in distress. Finally, we look at how smuggling networks are made part of border enforcement practices. The paper shows how migration containment is enforced through multiple spatial tactics that block migrants at sea, hamper independent actors' search and rescue operations and target smuggling networks.

Keywords: containment; migration; smugglers; rescue; central Mediterranean; detention.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMBS.2020.113959

International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2020 Vol.6 No.4, pp.280 - 297

Received: 10 Dec 2019
Accepted: 23 Aug 2020

Published online: 22 Mar 2021 *

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