Between Rights and Fear: Evaluating the Migration-Terrorism Nexus in Europe

A workshop on migration and terrorism was held at the University of Bologna in June 2018. 

Helene Sjursen (ARENA), Sonia Lucarelli (UNIBO) and Stefano Bianchini (UNIBO) (Photo: Ben Tonra)

About the workshop

Over the past few years, the EU has experienced a significant surge in the inflow of migrants and refugees, one that has challenged the EU’s internal cohesion and has often been speciously used by populist and nationalist movements to fuel public concerns. At the same time, terrorist attacks have multiplied across Europe, some of them perpetrated by first or second generation immigrants claiming allegiance to Islamic fundamentalist groups. Despite all the efforts made by EU institutions to problematize the connection between migration and terrorism, the link is ever more immediately drawn within the public debate, with repercussions in the public perception of the two phenomena. The implications in terms of policy approaches, but also in the normative sphere, are manifold, and a deeper reflection on the precise terms of such implications is in order.
On a global level, ethical issues are raised not only by terrorist groups smuggling and trafficking migrants in view of a financial profit but also by the evidence that massive migration and terrorist radicalization may also be regarded as having some common roots in persistent global inequalities. Moreover, some of the measures undertaken to fight global terrorism have in fact generated more refugees. All these cases have important ethical implications and call for an attentive reflection on what may be considered a just response by the international/global community.

Roderick Parkes
Roderick Parkes, Senior Analyst at the European Union Institute for Security Studies, will be keynote speaker at the workshop. (Photo: Stephan Röhl, Heinrich -Böll-Stiftung)

There is no easy solution to the clash among differing justice claims, but a scholarly reflection on these issues might help us contribute to a more educated public and political debate, at both a regional and global level, and to some extent to contain the securitization trends that seem to inform the reactions to these phenomena, despite their being at variance with most justice criteria.

To discuss these topics, the University of Bologna Team of GLOBUS organised a workshop at the University Centre of Bertinoro, on June 4-6, 2018. 


Monday, 4 June (Room: Church)

15.00 – 15.30 Welcome and introduction

Filippo Andreatta, Director of the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna
Stefano Bianchini, Head of the Forlì Campus of the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna
Sonia Lucarelli, GLOBUS Team leader, University of Bologna
Helene Sjursen, GLOBUS Coordinator, ARENA Centre for European Studies

15.30 – 16.30 Keynote speech: The geopolitics of European home affairs cooperation: justice
beyond borders?

Roderick Parkes, Senior Analyst, European Union Institute for Security Studies

16.30 – 18.30 Round Table – The Migration-Terrorism Alleged Nexus and Global Justice

Chair: Michela Ceccorulli, University of Bologna
Marco Balboni, University of Bologna
Thomas Diez, GLOBUS Team leader, University of Tübingen
Sonia Lucarelli, GLOBUS Team leader, University of Bologna 
Dario Melossi, University of Bologna

Tuesday, 5 July

(Room Jacopo da Bertinoro)

09.00 – 10.45 First session – The EU, migration and terrorism – Part 1

Chair: Helene Sjursen, ARENA Centre for European Studies

Christopher Baker-Beall, Nottingham Trent University

EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: The threat of the ‘returning foreign fighter’ and the securitization
of migration, travel and border control. 

Nikola Tomic, University College Dublin

Testing the limits of the EU’s comprehensive approach to crisis management: the case of Syrian migrants

Sarah Léonard, Vesalius College, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Migration and Terrorism in Europe: The Impact of Schengen

Discussant: James Sperling, University of Akron

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee break

11.00 – 12.45 Second session – The EU, migration and terrorism – Part 2

Chair: Pundy Pillay, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

Christian Kaunert, University of South Wales, and Sarah Léonard, Vesalius College, Vrije Universiteit Brussels

The Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean: Securitizing Practices, Terrorism and Foreign
Geopolitical Actors

Wael Garnaoui, Paris Diderot University

The Migration to the Jihad: The Mirror of the Desire

Discussant: Ben Tonra, GLOBUS Team leader, University College Dublin

12.45 – 14.15 Lunch

14.00 – 15.30 Third session – Migration and terrorism: non-European experiences

Chair: Thomas Diez, University of Tübingen

Sreeram Chaulia, Jindal Global University

The Two-way Causation of Migration and Terrorism: Asian Experience

Jim Sperling, University of Akron

Terrorists in America: Imported or ‘Made in America’?

Jessica Field, Jindal Global University

Fear and Exclusion: the securitisation of Rohingya refugees in India

Discussant: Michela Ceccorulli, University of Bologna

16.00 – 16.15 Coffee Break

16.15 – 17.45 Roundtable: The view of the stakeholders

Chair: Sonia Lucarelli, University of Bologna

Barbara Sargenti, Deputy prosecutor, Anti-Mafia and Anti-Terrorism Direction of the Italian

Giulio di Blasi, Member of the Cabinet of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign
Affairs and Security Policy

Federico Soda, International Organisation for Migrations

Michele Tarlao, Head of the Italian State Police trade union (Silp-CGIL)

Wednesday, 6 June (Room Jacopo da Bertinoro)

9.00 – 10.45 Fourth session – Securitizing migration at home

Chair: Antonio Zotti, University of Bologna

Silvia D’Amato, University of Florence

When the opposites attract. The relationship between foreign policy and the migration-terrorism nexus in the French far right and radical left discourse

Attila Melegh, Corvinus University of Budapest, and Márton Hunyadi, Hungarian Academy of Science, Centre for Social Sciences, Institute for Minority Studies

Positional insecurity and the attack to the ideas of global justice in Hungary

Giorgia Linardi (Sea-Watch), Ettore Socci (EUNAVFOR MED), Ben Tonra (UCD) and Giorgio Grappi (UNIBO) (Photo: Jessica Field).

Alvise Sbraccia, University of Bologna

Detention as a Field of Ambivalence: Radicalization and Deradicalization in the Italian Prison System

Discussant: Enrico Fassi, Catholic University Milan

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee break

11.00 – 13.00 Round Table – Maritime Operations in the Mediterranean: Security and Human Rights Considerations

Chair: Marco Borraccetti, University of Bologna

Giorgio Grappi, University of Bologna

Giorgia Linardi, Legal Adviser and Mission Coordinator for External Relations, Sea-Watch

Ettore Socci, EU Operation Sophia (EUNAVFOR MED)

Ben Tonra, University College Dublin


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Tags: Migration, Cooperation and conflict
Published Oct. 23, 2017 5:41 PM - Last modified Aug. 23, 2018 2:40 PM