The Mediterranean Border Regime in Crisis?


19.10.16 - 22.10.16

Refugee protest on Chios in April 2016.

Souda refugee camp on Chios.

Syrian-run snack bar in Izmir, Turkey.

Signpost on Chios. All photos by Gerda Heck.


19.10.16 16:00 Tagungszentrum an der Sternwarte, Geismar Landstr. 11, 37073 Göttingen
University of Göttingen

The Mediterranean Border Regime in Crisis? New tendencies and challenges of the European Border Regime in Southern Europe

A Workshop of the CETREN Pilot Project "Entrepreneurial Citizenship" in cooperation with the DAAD

Organizers: Sabine Hess and Gerda Heck

About the workshop

In early summer 2015 the European border regime in the Mediterranean faced a major crisis after extraordinarily high numbers of migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. This was accompanied by border fortification measures by Frontex and NATO in the area. At the same time, a new field of humanitarian rescue activism emerged. Shortly after, the EU border regime literally collapsed for some months during the “long summer of migration”, precipitating a European-wide crisis of the EU border regime and its regulations, in particular of the “Schengen” and “Dublin” regulations. While the movements of migration have shown that neither fences nor ditches would stop the migrants from moving further, the political answers to these movements consisted and still consist of a severe multidimensional re-bordering of both the EU's external and internal borders.

The process of re-bordering unfolds through the reinforcement of old policies such as externalization, alongside the introduction of new mechanisms such as the EU-Turkey Deal, the establishment of the Hot Spot System, and the introduction of a European border guard, accompanied by regional re-nationalizations of border- and migration policies. These mechanisms point towards massive disenfranchisement, precarity and, in fact, a de-politization of the political momentum of the summer 2015.

The interdisciplinary workshop “The Mediterranean Border Regime in Crisis? New tendencies and challenges of the European Border Regime in Southern Europe” joins border and migration scholars from Germany, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Turkey for a critical assessment of the current developments and political responses to the “border regime crisis”. With a process rapidly unfolding and situated as it is across regional and geopolitical dimensions, we believe that a comparative analytical gaze is required to understand the “border regime crisis” and its massive effects on European societies and migrants’ lives.



19.10.16 16:00 - 17:00



18:00 - 20:00


Notes on the Crises of the Mediterranean Border Regime

Charles Heller, Goldsmiths, University of London

20.10.16 10:00 - 12:30
Panel session


Panel I:
The Mediterranean Border Regime in / as crisis


The management of ‘the refugee crisis in Portugal

Elsa Lechner, CES Coimbra

Crisis within crisis: ambivalent responses, uncertain becomings

Dimitris Parsanoglu, Panteion University Athens

At the edge of all ambiguities. Migration and migration politics in the Aegean Region after the EU-Turkey-deal

Gerda Heck, CETREN / University of Göttingen & Firat Genc, Bogazici University, Istanbul

Discussant: Sabine Hess

20.10.16 14:30 - 17:00
Panel session


Panel II:
Two sides of the same coin? Understanding securitization and/or humanitarianism


Delocalized and Humanitarianized Migration Management in the Southern Central Mediterranean: Between Exclusion and Inclusion

Paolo Cuttitta, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Track, sort and archive: Eurosur, Frontex and the temporality of migration maps in the context of the "humanitarian war" on smugglers

Martina Tazzioli, University of Aix-Marseille

Framing the border regime in terms of Prohibition system, between black market and historical recurrences: What do we gain and what do we loose?

Luca Ciabarri, Escapes, University of Milan

Monstrosity, Abjection and Europe in the War on Terror

Gaia Giuliani, CES Coimbra

Discussant: Barbara Beznec

20.10.16 17:30 - 19:00
Panel session


Panel III:
Struggles over im/mobilities


“Malta is like a prison” – Islandness and non-deportable refugees

Sarah Nimführ, University of Vienna

Border Politics, Syrian Migration and Conflict in the Geographic Margins of Turkey

Pınar Senoguz, University of Göttingen

Interstitial subjectivities. The transit experience of refugees criss-crossing the Europan borders

Elena Fontanari, Escapes, University of Milan / Humboldt University Berlin

Discussant: Paolo Cuttitta

21.10.16 09:00 - 11:00
Panel session


Panel IV:
Camps, prisons, tents and jungles – spaces of containment: logics and resistances


Reception or detention? The ambivalence of Italien reception system for asylum seekers

Emanuela Dal Zotto, Escapes, University of Milan

Seeking Asylum in Time of Crisis. Reception, confinement and detention at Europe’s Southern Border

Giuseppe Campesi, University of Bari

"All I need is the transfer and pocket money" – Excellence and contradictions in a Sicilian transit center,

Osvaldo Costantini, University of Rome “La Sapienza”

Discussant: Simona Pagano

21.10.16 11:30 - 13:30
Panel session


Panel V:
Negotiating solidarity: approaches and challenges


Solidarities that matter and the rise of decolonial nationalisms on the Greek borderline

Nelli Kambouri, Panteion University Athens

Overcoming exclusion. Active engagement of refugees and intercultural relations as tools for participation and integration

Chiara Marchetti, Escapes, University of Milan

Grassroots projects of housing in the center of Athens. The case of City Plaza Hotel

Olga Lafazani, University of Barcelona

Discussant: Fadi Saleh

21.10.16 15:00 - 17:00


Closing discussion

21.10.16 18:00 Tagungs- und Veranstaltungshaus, Alte Mensa Wilhelmsplatz 3, 37073 Göttingen


Joint meeting with "Rat für Migration" & roundtable discussion

Quo vadis border regime? Assessment of recent developments

22.10.16 09:00 - 11:00 Tagungs- und Veranstaltungshaus, Alte Mensa Wilhelmsplatz 3, 37073 Göttingen

Keynote lecture

Dimitris Christopoulos, Panteion University Athens

22.10.16 11:30 - 13:00 Tagungs- und Veranstaltungshaus Alte Mensa, Wilhelmsplatz 3, 37073 Göttingen


Panel discussion 

The responsibility of science in knowledge production – critical approaches




T: +49 551 39 21286
F: +49 551 39 21284


Georg-Universität-Universität Göttingen
Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14
37073 Göttingen