The Mediterranean Sea is now the deadliest region in the world for migrants. Although the death toll has been rising many years, the EU response remains fragmented and short-sighted. Politicians frame these migration flows as an unprecedented crisis and emphasize migration control at the Eu’s external boundaries. In this context, At Europe’s Edge investigates  why the EU prioritizes the fortification of its external borders;  why migrants nevertheless continue to cross the Mediterranean and to die at sea; and  how EU member states on the southern periphery respond to their new role as migration gatekeepers. The book addresses these questions by examining the relationship between the EU and Malta, a small state with an outsized role in migration politics as EU policies place it at the crosshairs of migration flows and controls. The chapters combine ethnographic methods with macro-level analyses to weave together policymaker, practitioner, and migrant experiences, and demonstrate how the Mediterranean is an important space for the contested construction of ‘Europe’. At Europe’s Edge provides rich insight into the unexpected level of influence Malta exerts on EU migration governance, as well as the critical role migrants and their clandestine journeys play in animating EU and Maltese migration policies, driving international relations, and producing Malta’s political power. By centring on the margins, this book pushes the boundaries of our knowledge of the global politics of migration, asylum, and border security.
- A far-reaching study providing the basis for new theoretical advancements in migration studies
- Presents rich empirical data collected over ten years, including participant observation, and more than 150 interviews with migrants, policymakers, and practitioners
- Employs a multi-level and interdisciplinary analysis of developments at the regional, national, and local levels
- Offers significant new insights into migrant journeys and EU migration policies
- Draws on the often-overlooked case study of Malta