While the migration of people by boat is a long-standing phenomenon, journeys have become more frequent and precarious as states illegalise entry. As migration at sea becomes more common, it has gained attention from a range of actors, including enforcement authorities, political elites, media, and non/inter-governmental organizations. The sea has thus become a space of hope/desperation for migrants as well as conflict over territory and sovereignty, representing wider social debates in and beyond Australia, Canada, the European Union, and the United States. Current literature on migration by boat reflects these debates, primarily concentrating on the humanitarian and legal realities of migration by boat and border enforcement at sea , however, few studies have analysed their empirical relationship. This edited volume aims to fill this gap and thereby address three important, overlapping aspects of these debates:
The first theme will explore data and methods on migration by boat, its discourse, and its enforcement, and in addition identifying appropriate research methodologies and sources to gather these data. The second theme will build upon the first by focusing on the relationship between data on migration by boat and governance and geopolitics of the “border”. Building upon the two themes already outlined, the third theme will identify and analyse how elite discourses represent migration at sea.
1. Introduction: Challenging Migration Studies through Addressing Critical Gaps in Studying Migration by Boat / i. Introduction to Section One: Data and Methodology / 2. Methodological Approaches to Researching Boat Migration: Moving Vessels and Emotional Landscapes (Mountz) / 3. Review of and Research Proposal for Methodologies Studying Migrant Interdiction at Sea (Williams) / i. Introduction to Section Two: Geopolitics and Legal Regimes / 4. Italy and the Militarization of Euro-Mediterranean Border Control Policies (Campesi) / 5. Inclusion and Exclusion in the Fragmented Space of the Sea: Actors, Territories and Legal Regimes between Libya and Italy (Cuttitta) / 6. On Choppy Waters: the Shifting Borders of Protection in Europe (van Selm) / i. Introduction to Section Three: Discourses / 7. Deconstructing the Migration “Crisis” and Representations of Migration by Boat in the UK News Media (Burroughs) / 8. Media Discourses of the rescue and landing of migration by boat in the Italian News Media (Bruno and Binotto) / 9. Silencing Migration by Sea: Unveiling Technologies of Exclusion in Australian Maritime Borders (Dickson) / 10. Conclusion: Problems, Answers and Ways Forward in Studying Migration by Boat
Kira Williams is an instructor, researcher and teaching assistant in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, lecturer at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and works for the International Migration Research Centre. Her research focuses on international migration, global governance, and analytical methodologies.