Becoming a Smuggler: Migration and Violence at EU External Borders

Augustova, Karolina, Farrand Carrapico, Helena and Obradović-Wochnik, Jelena (2021) Becoming a Smuggler: Migration and Violence at EU External Borders. Geopolitics. pp. 1-22. ISSN 1465-0045 (In Press)

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Migrants’ involvement in smuggling increases alongside restricted cross-border movement and violent borders, yet this dynamic is usually examined from migrants’ position as clients. In this article, we move away from migrants and smugglers as two separate roles and question migrants’ aspirations to and experiences of resorting to smuggling networks as workers in the context of EU land borders, where direct violence is used daily to fight cross-border crime. By doing so, we move further the examination of fluid relations in smuggling provisions and the way they are intertwined with care and exploitation, as shaped and circumscribed by violent borders. The article illustrates the intersections between border violence and migrants’ active involvement in smuggling by drawing on the case study of an anonymised Border Town and multi-site, multi-author fieldwork from Serbia and Bosnia. By questioning migrants’ experiences of shifting roles from clients to service providers, and by taking into account their work in smuggling provision, we show that, in a situation of protracted vulnerability orchestrated by border violence, state and law enforcement, the categories – “migrant” and “smugglers” – can blur.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work was supported by the Aston Centre for Europe and the European Commission, Jean Monnet Programme, Jean Monnet Chair on EU-UK post Brexit internal security relations [620597-EPP-1-2020-1-UK-EPPJMO-CHAIR].
Subjects: L200 Politics
L300 Sociology
L600 Anthropology
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2021 08:32
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2021 07:53

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