Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

Chapter 4 examines experiences en route and of arrival to the EU, to emphasise the limitations of European asylum and protection policies. It draws attention to the complexity of migratory journeys and explores how the struggle to find peace and safety often involves a seemingly unending search by people on the move. By pointing to the longevity of many journeys outside EU territory, their fragmented nature, and what we call varied and ‘intersecting drivers and conditions of flight’, the analysis shows how people on the move often face cumulative experiences of precarity in which both colonial legacies and racialised violence form a part. It also reveals the violence and limitations of an asylum system that requires cross-border travel irrespective of the difficulties and risks that this imposes. While some were actively seeking asylum on arrival to the EU and others were more generally seeking peace and safety, people on the move advanced a multiplicity of claims and demands in contesting the cumulative experiences of precarity that they faced both before and after arrival to the EU. As such, our counter-archive draws attention to the limits of assumptions about the need to provide people on the move with humanitarian succour.

in Reclaiming migration
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Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

Chapter 6 considers how the testimonies of people on the move represent a critique of the EU’s role in producing the drivers and conditions of flight across various sites and along diverse migratory routes. The chapter documents a range of claims to justice that emerge from our counter-archive, before focusing on two key ways in which the testimonies challenge the EU as complicit in the injustices driving migration. First, it identifies a series of demands that point to the EU’s implication in wars and conflicts that drive migration and, second, it identifies a series of demands that point to the limits of the EU’s focus on development aid. The chapter shows how migratory acts of desertion challenge securitising narratives of crisis, while decolonising migratory acts challenge humanitarian narratives of crisis. The chapter argues that these acts form part of a broader collective movement for peace and equality against the injustices of Europe’s ‘postcolonial present’ – a movement that opens up opportunities for the revival of theoretical imaginations through the reclaiming of migration by people on the move.

in Reclaiming migration
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Reclaiming migration: voices from Europe’s ‘migrant crisis’
Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

This introduction sets the scene for the so-called ‘crisis’ of 2015–16, while providing an overview of the book as a whole. It shows how, in a situation perceived as critical due to increased migratory ‘pressures’ as well as mounting deaths at sea, the EU advanced its 2015 ‘European Agenda on Migration’ based on a long-standing preventative approach. Yet the chapter also highlights the ways in which this agenda and the crisis politics in which it is grounded are politically contested, not least by people on the move themselves. As such, it makes the case for an analysis of the contested politics of testimony, based on a counter-archive co-produced with people on the move. This, the chapter argues, importantly enables appreciation of the political claims or demands that precarious migratory journeys and experiences give rise to.

in Reclaiming migration
Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

Chapter 1 undertakes a critical analysis of how the narrative of Europe’s so-called migration crisis came to frame dominant understandings of, and policy responses to, increased arrivals and deaths at sea. It shows how a confusing blend of securitised humanitarianism became the defining hallmark of the European Commission’s response to the ‘crisis’ that it narrated. The chapter highlights the limits of a shift from a crisis narrative focused on the referent object of the state to that focused on the referent state of people on the move, and unpacks the ways in which crisis narratives belie long-standing colonial relations that continue to structure the lived experiences of people on the move. In so doing, the chapter argues that an ‘anti-crisis’ approach is critical to the search for alternative frameworks and counter-narratives to that of a ‘migrant crisis’.

in Reclaiming migration
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Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

Chapter 5 critically interrogates the notion of Europe as a community of values, to argue that the EU is unable to address its colonial history and postcolonial present. Despite projecting an image of itself as a place of human rights and humanitarianism for people seeking peace and safety, people arriving to the EU often experience sub-standard living conditions, a lack of information on asylum and reception procedures, long periods of uncertainty due to opaque bureaucratic systems, and delays and administrative hurdles to family reunification. These serve as a continuation of the racialised forms of violence and precarious conditions that people experience during their fluid and fragmented journeys. Despite anticipating better treatment, people on the move pose far-reaching political questions and demands to the EU on the basis of their lived experiences. As such, the migratory testimonies from our counter-archive throw into sharp relief the question of Europe itself, which is inseparably linked to how the EU relates to its ‘others’.

in Reclaiming migration
Voices from Europe’s ‘migrant crisis’

Reclaiming Migration critically assesses the EU’s migration policy agenda by directly engaging the voices of Europe’s so-called migrant crisis that otherwise remain unheard: those of people on the move. It undertakes an extensive analysis of a counter-archive of testimonies co-produced with people migrating across the Mediterranean during 2015 and 2016, to document the ways in which EU policy developments both produce and perpetuate the precarity of those migrating under perilous conditions. The book shows how testimonies based on lived experiences of travelling to – and arriving in – the EU draw attention to the flawed assumptions embedded in the deterrence paradigm and policies of anti-smuggling; in protection mechanisms and asylum procedures that rely on simplistic understandings of the migratory journey; and in the EU’s self-projection as a place of human rights and humanitarianism. Yet, it also goes further to reveal how experiences of precarity, which such policies give rise to, are inseparable from claims for justice that are advanced by people on the move, who collectively provide a damning critique of the EU policy agenda. Reclaiming Migration develops a distinctive ‘anti-crisis’ approach to the analysis of migratory politics and shows how migration forms part of a broader movement that challenges the injustices of Europe’s ‘postcolonial present’. Written collectively by a team of esteemed scholars from across multiple disciplines, the book serves as an important contribution to debates in migration, border and refugee studies, as well as more widely to debates about postcolonialism and the politics of knowledge production.

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Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

Chapter 2 highlights the ways in which people on the move were silenced in debates surrounding the ‘crisis’ of 2015–16, defining this as a form of epistemic violence that constitutes the knowing subject on the basis of a delegitimisation of other subjects and forms of knowledge. In order to challenge this process of silencing, the chapter emphasises the importance of engaging a counter-archive that provides openings for ‘unstated histories’ of people crossing the Mediterranean during 2015 and 2016. Setting out the politico-methodological approach on which the research is based, it emphasises the criticality of engaging people on the move as co-producers of knowledge with ‘expertise’ in their own right. Yet the chapter also points to the ongoing challenges of such research, highlighting the importance of moments where voice is ‘taken’ in disruptive terms, and emphasising that silence itself must not be betrayed through the research process.

in Reclaiming migration
Vicki Squire, Nina Perkowski, Dallal Stevens, and Nick Vaughan-Williams

Chapter 3 focuses in detail on the challenge migratory testimonies pose to the EU’s preventative policy agenda, specifically by highlighting the ineffectiveness of the deterrence paradigm and by situating it within long-standing histories of racialised violence. Problematising the assumption that prevention or deterrence stymies unauthorised movement at source and changes the behaviour of those on the move, the chapter shows how knowledge of deterrent policies is often lacking. It also shows how migration drivers remain critical in understanding the continued movements of people across the Mediterranean. In this context, the chapter argues that the EU’s emphasis on anti-smuggling ultimately contributes to the lived experience of precarity by forcing people into increasingly perilous journeys to the EU. The analysis shows how people face a continuum of violence en route, including by authorities, as people on the move become increasingly dependent on smugglers and as migratory journeys become longer and more risky.

in Reclaiming migration
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Marcel H. Van Herpen

The author warns of authoritarian developments.

in The end of populism
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Twenty proposals to defend liberal democracy

The populist wave which has submerged Europe and the United States in recent years seems unstoppable. But is it? The End of Populism offers answers and proposes concrete solutions to confront the rise of “illiberal democracy.” Drawing on years of research, the author develops a complete new ideal type of populism, which enables him to identify the basic problems. Deploying a wealth of social science evidence, he refutes the populist claim that democracy is a “demand side” phenomenon, and demonstrates that it is rather a “supply side” phenomenon. He argues that one can have "too much democracy” and shows how methods of direct democracy, such as popular initiatives, referendums, and open primaries, which pretend “to give the power back to the people,” have led to manipulation by populists and moneyed interests. Populist attacks on the judiciary, central banks, the media, and other independent agencies, instead of strengthening democracy, have rather undermined liberal democracy. The author formulates twenty original and bold proposals to fight populism and defend liberal democracy. These proposals include ways to bridge the gap between the people and the elites, fight corruption, improve political party funding, and initiate societal, educational, and macro-economic reforms to increase economic equality and alleviate the insecurity of the citizens.