This article explores the recent so-called Mediterranean migration crisis from the perspective of International Practice Theory (IPT). Over the years, the various non-state actors involved in addressing the crisis have developed specific humanitarian practices. Since the Mare Nostrum operation launched by the Italian government in 2013, search and rescue (SAR) operations have been widely employed by non-state actors to bring people in distress in the Mediterranean to places of safety. Since August 2014 several NGOs have intervened alongside state and EU bodies deploying SAR operations to ensure maritime security in the Mediterranean. The operations associated with the disembarkation of migrants and the provision of initial reception facilities have been conducted with the valuable involvement of international, non-governmental and civil-society organizations, which have sought to fill the gaps left by Italian and European institutions. This article investigates humanitarian activities with the purpose of verifying the existence of practices that emphasize first and foremost migrants’ needs. Non-state actors involved in the governance of migration have developed practices that address the migration crisis more effectively than do state actors. Thanks to their efforts, the institutionalization of practices is producing a relevant body of knowledge in the migration field. The empirical analysis points to the existence of a process of institutionalization from below. Despite states’ focus on closing borders, the humanitarian ‘life cycle of practice’ is ongoing.

The Mediterranean migration crisis: humanitarian practices and migration governance in Italy

Stefania Panebianco
2019

Abstract

This article explores the recent so-called Mediterranean migration crisis from the perspective of International Practice Theory (IPT). Over the years, the various non-state actors involved in addressing the crisis have developed specific humanitarian practices. Since the Mare Nostrum operation launched by the Italian government in 2013, search and rescue (SAR) operations have been widely employed by non-state actors to bring people in distress in the Mediterranean to places of safety. Since August 2014 several NGOs have intervened alongside state and EU bodies deploying SAR operations to ensure maritime security in the Mediterranean. The operations associated with the disembarkation of migrants and the provision of initial reception facilities have been conducted with the valuable involvement of international, non-governmental and civil-society organizations, which have sought to fill the gaps left by Italian and European institutions. This article investigates humanitarian activities with the purpose of verifying the existence of practices that emphasize first and foremost migrants’ needs. Non-state actors involved in the governance of migration have developed practices that address the migration crisis more effectively than do state actors. Thanks to their efforts, the institutionalization of practices is producing a relevant body of knowledge in the migration field. The empirical analysis points to the existence of a process of institutionalization from below. Despite states’ focus on closing borders, the humanitarian ‘life cycle of practice’ is ongoing.
Mediterranean, migration, international practices, non-state actors
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/372127
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