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Spaces of violence: Geographies of violence against migrants seeking asylum in the EU

Authors: Kara Dempsey*, Appalachian State University
Topics: Political Geography, Migration, Europe
Keywords: Migration, violence, borders, EU, nationalism, states
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper, based on research conducted with asylum seekers in three European Union states, examines the connections among various forms of violence against forced migrants in different state settings. While violence is present in source states with high levels of forced migration (e.g., Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, or Kosovo), migrants face an array of violence, imprisonment, and death during their long and arduous journeys to and within Europe. Policy responses emphasizing a renewed commitment to tougher border security as a deterrent against irregular migration to Europe produces and fosters violence against migrants in transit and in various EU asylum camps as well. Because violence produced within states is not uniform and often transcends borders, understanding how it varies across different geographical settings illustrates the complexity of the risks that migrants face. This paper investigates interconnections between various forms of violence in transitional (throughout their journeys) and EU host states to better understand these multifaceted factors and why we can anticipate certain forms of violence in a particular space.

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