Public Programs And Events

The Zolberg Institute Presents "The Violence of Border Security: Migrant Deaths Across Deserts and Seas"

The Zolberg Institute Presents "The Violence of Border Security: Migrant Deaths Across Deserts and Seas"

Bob and Sheila Hoerle Lecture Hall, Room UL105, University Center
General Public 

The Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School hosts a lecture by Dr Vicki Squire, entitled "The Violence of Border Security: Migrant Deaths Across Deserts and Seas."

The violence of border security practices is no more evident than in the phenomena of migrant deaths across "deserts and seas." Although such deaths are often hidden from view, their increased exposure over recent years raises questions about a growing "crisis" of contemporary practices of governing migration. Yet precisely how such a "crisis" is articulated is complex and contested, and needs unpacking.

In this talk, Dr Squire reflects on her research across both the Sonoran Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, in order to consider how we might make sense of current "crises" in the field of migration. Focusing in detail on recent developments in the European Union (EU), she examines some of the dominant crisis narratives that characterise the European situation, showing that what these have in common is that the crisis is defined by increased levels of migration, which current policies are unable to contain.

By contrast, Dr Squire considers what happens if we view the crisis as a "crisis of Europe" that is encountered by those migrating, rather than as a "crisis for Europe" when confronted with by the sudden arrival of increased numbers of migrants. She asks whether the crisis is better understood as a crisis of humanism – a humanism that is problematic on various counts, and which involves an impoverished appreciation both of the connection of people and environment as well as of the dignity of life.

Dr Vicki Squire is Reader in International Security at the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL ( She is Principal Investigator on the ESRC urgent research project Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by Boat, and on the Leverhulme Fellowship Human Dignity and Biophysical Violence. Dr Squire is Associate Editor of the journal Citizenship, and  has written three books and over thirty journal articles and book chapters in the areas of border and migration politics, including The Exclusionary Politics of Asylum (Palgrave, 2009), The Contested Politics of Mobility: Borderzones and Irregularity (Routledge, 2011), and Post/humanitarian Border Politics between Mexico and the US: People, Places, Things (Palgrave, 2015).


Sponsored by the New School for Social Research.

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