The European Irregularized Migration Regime in the Periphery of the EU: from Ethnography to Keywords (ERIM)

Project supported by Croatian Science Foundation, 2020-2024

The European migration regime and irregularized migration movements, including those along the Balkan route that crosses Croatia, among other countries, are key contemporary phenomena that require academic study. Research into these phenomena, especially at the southeastern land periphery of the EU, has been characterized by internal dispersion, thematic fragmentation and insufficient social and international visibility. Therefore, a need to form a strong research group, which would continuously document and analyze the regime of irregularized migration in the transnational space that includes Croatia and the surrounding countries and is shaped by migratory movements, has been evident for some time now. Based on research “from below” and multilocal ethnographic fieldwork (observation, participation, interviews and other methods), the ERIM project aims to encompass the levels and experiences of different stakeholders, from refugees and migrants, to members of local communities, and employees and representatives of local authorities, international and other organizations. By distancing from the notion that the migration regime is a signifier of the abstract and monolithic power of the state, ERIM approaches the regime of irregularized migration as a dynamic field of heterogeneous and even opposed practices and interactions of various actors that are articulated in specific ways on the peripheries of the EU. The goal of the project is to document and explore these specifics on multiple levels, and to offer their empirically based and theoretically relevant conceptualizations. The expected outcomes (primarily, the keywords collection, i.e. a network of ethnographically documented and analytically elaborated concepts within the individual research papers, project publications, and the e-ERIM multimedia internet platform) will be aimed at contributing to a deeper understanding of the contradictions and potentials of the concept of migration regime and irregularized migration movements in the academic, but also the broader social sphere.