Migrants' struggles beyond activism, repression and solidarity I

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups: Political Geography Specialty Group, Ethics, Justice, and Human Rights Specialty Group, Socialist and Critical Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Poydras, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Organizers: Pierpaolo Mudu, Sutapa Chattopadhyay, Harald Bauder
Chairs: Pierpaolo Mudu


The political role of migrants in Europe and North America is a new factor compared to the postwar situation when migrants from southern Europe were settling in central European countries such as France, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany and in north America. In Europe, the working class organizations associated to communists, socialists and social democrats parties and later to the so-called extra-parliamentary movements ensured the representation of migrants' claims within wider social struggles. In northern America, different patterns of ethnic assimilation and segregation policies defined the fate of the newcomers. The expansion and consolidation of the European Union (EU), the transformation of migration flows and the affirmation of global neo-liberalism, that took place at the end of the last century, have made the political activism of migrants something completely new. Since the 1990s, in parallel new xenophobic discourses have started to define the political agenda both in North America and in the EU. In 1993, Clinton authorized the construction of fencing along the Mexican border and in 1995 the EU defined its “Schengen area” to regulate internal and external borders. A new era of migrants’ struggles followed the illegalization process of refugees and migrants and their representation as invaders, victims to be assisted, and subjects to be integrated. The multiplication of borders and camps have been associated to the multiplication of spaces of contestation of migrants' confinement and segregation policies.
This session is interested in exploring which set of struggles present the most disruptive and innovative characters. We welcome papers from radical scholars, independent researchers, students and activists. Papers may focus on any aspect of the struggles that see migrants as active subjects, including but not limited to addressing a set of questions that deserve thorough analysis and probably represent only research/action directions. For example, which repertoire of contention migrants and activists use? What examples can be cited as emblematic to evaluate the effectiveness of these movements and their impact on parties and policies? Which critical and analytical possibilities have emerged from studies on migration and citizenship according to the most radical mobilizations against detention centers, segregation and criminalization of freedom of movement? How important are struggles around no-borders, free borders and open borders discourses? Which degree of autonomy can be guaranteed in radical struggles that see migrants coalesced with various heterogeneous political subjects?


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Introduction Salvatore Engel-DiMauro SUNY New Paltz 20 3:20 PM
Presenter Harald Bauder*, Ryerson University, “Solidarity” in the Migration Literature: A Critical Review of the Concept 20 3:40 PM
Presenter Giovanni Piazza*, University of Catania, Federica Frazzetta, University of Catania, Only sporadic uprisings and lack of constant and widespread migrants’ struggles. Sicily welcome land? 20 4:00 PM
Presenter Ines Morales-Bernardos*, , Common Grounds? Migrants and radical urban movements building (food) autonomy in the city of Athens, Greece. 20 4:20 PM
Discussant James Tyner Kent State University 20 4:40 PM

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