Navigating the Central Mediterranean in a time of ‘crisis’: Disentangling migration governance and migrant journeys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



From 2014 to the end of 2016, over 450,000 people crossed from North Africa towards Italy via the Central Mediterranean route. The number of people recorded as dead or missing in the same stretch of water has steadily increased too. Crisis-talk in the region has led to renewed efforts by the European Union and its Member States to govern and control migration to and across the Central Mediterranean. Against this backdrop, this article draws upon over two hundred interviews with newly arrived boat migrants and fifty-five stakeholders in Italy to
reveal a disjuncture between the drivers and dynamics of migration and the assumptions underpinning policy development and how it operates at three crucial junctions: along migration routes, at sea, and upon arrival in Europe. In doing so, the article problematizes existent ways of understanding journeys in research and policy, with important consequences for the governance of migration.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-514
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Early online date27 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • borders, Europe, governance, Mediterranean, migration, refugee crisis