Social and political conflicts at the Alpine borders

There are many reasons to think that the current “migratory crisis” is actually a political crisis concerning the governance of European Union, reshaping the core of EU agreements, treaties and policies on asylum and mobility. As the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, recently said, “Europe faces many challenges, but that of migration could become the make-or-break one for the EU”.

While in 2017 Italy has received the majority of migrants and asylum seekers arrived in Europe, compared to other EU-countries, Alpine frontiers have become a new magnifying lens of the impacts of “intra-EU” border closure. They are the first “intra-EU” forced stop that migrants coming from the central Mediterranean route have to cross in order to reach their destinations.

Escalating numbers of deaths at the borders, new crimes of solidarity, social mobilizations and conflicts between local residents supporting / opposing migrants’ transit, controversial measures by local administrators, rising economies of criminal smuggling, rising nationalisms… Alpine border conflicts focuses on all these aspects in order to provide civil society and policy-makers with empirical data to form informed opinions and decisions.


REJREG (“Rejection regimes: an ethnographic study of the social life of intra-EU borders”) is a research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement n. 792793.

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