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Borders, Mobilities and Migrations

Perspectives from the Mediterranean, 19–21st Century


Edited By Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Virginie Baby-Collin and Sylvie Mazzella

This book explores changes in the social, economic and political processes underpinning the mechanisms for the management of human mobility and cohabitation in the Mediterranean region, while suggesting comparisons with the situation in the Americas.
It considers the public policies that introduce such mechanisms at state, region or city level, and also explores the way that populations adapt to, breach or find ways of working around these systems.
The volume also attempts to evaluate the extent to which the reactions of the populations concerned can influence such systems. Relying on a historical perspective and covering a broad period of time from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, this book questions the increasing influence of processes born out of globalization upon present readjustments of mobility and territorial configurations.
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Introduction (Cédric Parizot)


← 88 | 89 → Introduction


In this second section, we will review border economies in the Mediterranean: the articles presented here analyze the circumventions and reappropriations developed by mobile border populations by taking advantage of loopholes and opportunities made possible by border control systems. Our objective is to assess how these reappropriations benefit from the installation of these systems.

It is now accepted that greater security at borders stimulates the development of new economic activities based on avoidance of surveillance systems and regulations (Andreas, 2001). Tightening controls forces people who live near the border or who must cross it regularly to change their habits, activities, journeys and border passages. Due to their limited resources, they are often forced to call for assistance from individuals and groups who specialize in avoiding physical obstacles (walls, barriers, etc.), surveillance systems (radar, drones, bio-metric systems) and state regulations (visas, travel permit systems, work contracts, etc.). Systems of constraints imposed on a border and mobile population always create new opportunities for smugglers of people and goods, producers of false papers, recruitment agencies specializing in foreign workers, etc. By taking advantage of this demand and of weaknesses in the systems, these actors contribute to the emergence of a complex social economy.

The border economy operates in both the formal and informal sector and plays a key role in regulating mobility. Increasing the number of controls encourages the development of smuggling and criminal activities (Andreas, 2001) and also...

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