Forthcoming in Antipode 52(1) in January 2020 – and available online now – Katie Kuschminder and Anna Triandafyllidou’s open access paper, “Smuggling, Trafficking, and Extortion: New Conceptual and Policy Challenges on the Libyan Route to Europe”, contributes a conceptual and empirical reflection on the relationship between human smuggling, trafficking and kidnapping, and extortion in Libya.
As the authors explain, their essay is based on qualitative interview data with Eritrean asylum seekers in Italy. Different tribal regimes control separate territories in Libya, which leads to different experiences for migrants depending on which territory they enter, such as Eritreans entering in the southeast Toubou controlled territory. Katie and Anna put forth that the kidnapping and extortion experienced by Eritreans in Libya is neither trafficking, nor smuggling, but a crime against humanity orchestrated by an organised criminal network. As you can see in the video abstract below, their research details this argument and discusses its implications.
Katie Kuschminder is an Assistant Professor at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-Merit. Her research focuses on three key themes: [i] return migration decision making, assisted voluntary return, repatriation after conflict, diaspora return and knowledge transfer, and defining and measuring reintegration; [ii] the drivers, flows, processes, experiences and decision making factors involved in irregular migration; and [iii] the relationship between migration and development, including how diaspora returnees contribute to knowledge transfer and capacity building in their countries of origin, and an examination of diaspora engagement policies.
Anna Triandafyllidou holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University, Toronto. She was previously Robert Schuman Chair at the Global Governance Programme of the European University Institute, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. Her main areas of research and teaching are the governance of cultural diversity, migration, and nationalism from a European and international perspective.
For more on the issues discussed in “Smuggling, Trafficking, and Extortion: New Conceptual and Policy Challenges on the Libyan Route to Europe”, see the symposium published in June 2018 in Antipode 50(3), “Mediterranean Movements: Mobility Struggles, Border Restructuring, and the Humanitarian Frontier”. Organised by Glenda Garelli, Alessandra Sciurba and Martina Tazzioli, it includes interviews with Sandro Mezzadra and Toni Negri and with Étienne Balibar and Nicholas De Genova, as well as a number of contributions from leading scholars and activists.