In the last two decades, the European borders have increasingly been monitored and extremely supervised with scrutiny by authorities tasked with border control issues. The application of security procedures of containment in the efforts of European authorities to deter irregular migration only contributes to the exacerbation of human suffering along the EU maritime and territorial borders. However, by manifesting possibilities for resistance, ordinary people and civil society have been creating and reinforcing channels, structures, networks and initiatives in the attempt to respond adequately to this violent border regime. These channels, structures, networks and initiatives make part of a range of civic activities performed by pro-migrant activists, who aim at the development of systems of knowledge and deployment of tactics for integration, inclusion and solidarity. To explore these activities that focus on migration struggles along the European borders, this course firstly tasks itself with understanding EU migration policies and the dynamics of the European border regime. It considers pro-migrant activism as a direct consequence of policy frames and measures carried out by state authorities that deal with migration and integration issues. In this sense, the course explores simultaneously pro-migrant activism and states’ processes and practices of migration to offer an understanding of the dynamics of a border regime. Bearing this in mind, this course provides a linear approach that goes from EU migration policies to border studies and activism. This approach is structured to get students to think critically not only about migration and integration regimes, but also the cooperative actions, collective acts and social expressions articulated by activists and migrants across Europe. In doing so, this course leads students to critical observations that can be applied in analyses that transcend states’ migration policies and border practices as well as different forms of pro-migrant activism.
The course offers students a unique learning experience on migration and integration coupled
with civil society activism that will enable students to:
- Understand the dynamics and processes that characterize the EU migration policies and border practices.
- Observe how European borders became a complex interactional space, where non-state actors counter state actors creating a fundamental arena of politics through acts of solidarity and advocacy that overstep the boundaries of states’ policies.
- Identify inherent migration struggles along European borders to gain a more comprehensive picture of the different social movements and civic activities articulated by activists.
- Connect social and political theory to practices associated with migration and different forms of activism and reflect on issues involving social responsibility, assistance, protection, and rights.