Forced migration has globally become a major challenge of our contemporary world. For example, in Europe, where over four million people applied for asylum between 2013 and 2017, forced migration has emerged as a battlefield between nation-states, to the point of jeopardizing the future of the European Union. In North America, furthermore, the USA’s president Donald Trump harshly targeted millions of illegalized migrants who reside within the country. But while national governments have often embraced an anti-immigration spirit, by resorting to the securitization of migration, local (mainly city) level instead has become increasingly prominent and entrepreneurial in the field of migration governance and often expressed a different view on this phenomenon. From Athens to New York, indeed, mayors of large cities and a big chunk of their civil society have explicitly expressed their commitment to welcome migrants. In this context, a notion previously ‘marginal’ in social sciences such as City of Refuge (and similar ones, like Sanctuary City) has come out on top. City of Refuge is, indeed, an ‘umbrella concept’ that originates from a new interpretation of Derrida’s notion of hospitality as well as from a plethora of initiatives that North American cities have put in place to challenge the national policies on migration in the last decades. However, albeit the first steps of this ‘movement’ have been taken in United States in the 1980s, actually it has increasingly become an international phenomenon: broadly speaking this concept has been used to describe the actions undertaken in cities and by cities with the idea to take direct responsibility for refugees’ reception and integration, in doing so decoupling local policies from national policies, and in a context in which often such policies are enacted in an interplay with all kinds of trans-national, vertical and horizontal networks. The present dissertation aims to investigate the city of Milan. Indeed, Milan, historically one of the top destinations of migrants in Italy, has recently been one of the main urban settings for forced migration in Europe. During the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ and between 2013 and 2016 (way before the transit migration along the Balkans started), Milan has seen the passage of more than 130,000 refugees, while the city’s reception centres have given assistance to thousands of forced migrants in its premises. All this while the arrival, passage and settlement of migrants have been welcomed and assisted by parts of the Milanese civil society and political elites, but also rejected by residents and authorities. Through a collection of three papers (and accompanying chapters), this dissertation attempts to shed light on the different responses that the city of Milan has given to forced migration in this last period. The research has developed by means of qualitative methodologies, from ethnography-oriented participant observation to discursive interview, applied conveniently for each paper. In particular, the first paper focuses on a part of the civil society that contributed to the ‘welcome culture’ in Milan. The second paper, instead, examines the building up of ‘internal borders’ on the part of national authorities that deployed bordering mechanisms at the locallevel. Finally, we will see the role taken by a particular form of space within the ‘welcoming apparatus’ of the city, a drop-in centre, and its contribution to the circumventing of bordering processes and to ‘opening’ mobility to migrants. By accounting for different actors that weight in on the Milanese local migration governance and looking at the negotiations, conflicts, settings and actors that impart hospitality or hostility to forced migrants, this work argues that the city represents a site of opposing and different pushes. Shaking off too simplistic reading of the city of refuge, here the city emerges as the arena of migration policy, a space of negotiating practices that includes a multitude of actors, influences and drives.

The city vis-à-vis forced migration: Milan between refuge and refuse at the time of the migration crisis / Artero, Maurizio. - (2019 Feb 12).

The city vis-à-vis forced migration: Milan between refuge and refuse at the time of the migration crisis

ARTERO, MAURIZIO
2019-02-12

Abstract

Forced migration has globally become a major challenge of our contemporary world. For example, in Europe, where over four million people applied for asylum between 2013 and 2017, forced migration has emerged as a battlefield between nation-states, to the point of jeopardizing the future of the European Union. In North America, furthermore, the USA’s president Donald Trump harshly targeted millions of illegalized migrants who reside within the country. But while national governments have often embraced an anti-immigration spirit, by resorting to the securitization of migration, local (mainly city) level instead has become increasingly prominent and entrepreneurial in the field of migration governance and often expressed a different view on this phenomenon. From Athens to New York, indeed, mayors of large cities and a big chunk of their civil society have explicitly expressed their commitment to welcome migrants. In this context, a notion previously ‘marginal’ in social sciences such as City of Refuge (and similar ones, like Sanctuary City) has come out on top. City of Refuge is, indeed, an ‘umbrella concept’ that originates from a new interpretation of Derrida’s notion of hospitality as well as from a plethora of initiatives that North American cities have put in place to challenge the national policies on migration in the last decades. However, albeit the first steps of this ‘movement’ have been taken in United States in the 1980s, actually it has increasingly become an international phenomenon: broadly speaking this concept has been used to describe the actions undertaken in cities and by cities with the idea to take direct responsibility for refugees’ reception and integration, in doing so decoupling local policies from national policies, and in a context in which often such policies are enacted in an interplay with all kinds of trans-national, vertical and horizontal networks. The present dissertation aims to investigate the city of Milan. Indeed, Milan, historically one of the top destinations of migrants in Italy, has recently been one of the main urban settings for forced migration in Europe. During the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ and between 2013 and 2016 (way before the transit migration along the Balkans started), Milan has seen the passage of more than 130,000 refugees, while the city’s reception centres have given assistance to thousands of forced migrants in its premises. All this while the arrival, passage and settlement of migrants have been welcomed and assisted by parts of the Milanese civil society and political elites, but also rejected by residents and authorities. Through a collection of three papers (and accompanying chapters), this dissertation attempts to shed light on the different responses that the city of Milan has given to forced migration in this last period. The research has developed by means of qualitative methodologies, from ethnography-oriented participant observation to discursive interview, applied conveniently for each paper. In particular, the first paper focuses on a part of the civil society that contributed to the ‘welcome culture’ in Milan. The second paper, instead, examines the building up of ‘internal borders’ on the part of national authorities that deployed bordering mechanisms at the locallevel. Finally, we will see the role taken by a particular form of space within the ‘welcoming apparatus’ of the city, a drop-in centre, and its contribution to the circumventing of bordering processes and to ‘opening’ mobility to migrants. By accounting for different actors that weight in on the Milanese local migration governance and looking at the negotiations, conflicts, settings and actors that impart hospitality or hostility to forced migrants, this work argues that the city represents a site of opposing and different pushes. Shaking off too simplistic reading of the city of refuge, here the city emerges as the arena of migration policy, a space of negotiating practices that includes a multitude of actors, influences and drives.
The city vis-à-vis forced migration: Milan between refuge and refuse at the time of the migration crisis / Artero, Maurizio. - (2019 Feb 12).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12571/9729
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