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The management of migration between care and control

The representation strategies and discursive practices enacted by a wide range of state and non-state actors present the Mediterranean Sea as the setting of a perpetual emergency. European and national political agencies, military authorities, humanitarian organisations and activists have been representing migrants crossing borders as a significant problem to be managed in terms of a wider social, cultural and political ‘crisis’. This chapter focuses on the ambiguities and contradictions that bedevil discourses and practices around control and care of human mobility in the Mediterranean. It addresses the role of ‘crisis’ narratives and the hyper-visibility of the ‘military-humanitarian spectacle of the border’ in obscuring the political stakes surrounding European borders.

in Global humanitarianism and media culture