Borders and Migration

The entangled geographies of responsibility: Contested policy narratives of migration governance along the Balkan Route

This article examines some of the contested geographical imaginaries of the so-called “Balkan Route” as part of the wider Mediterranean migration complex. More specifically, we interrogate how such varied imaginaries of the Route contribute to shaping conflicting geographies of responsibility for migration in the region among a shifting set of international and state actors. We highlight how the attribution of responsibility for the governance of migration is shaped by numerous geographical and historical entanglements, including on-going processes of post-conflict state-making and the geopolitics of European Union accession, with migrants becoming pawns in the negotiation of preferential relations between the countries of the region and the European Union. Focusing in particular on the framing of migration policy responses along the Croatia–Bosnia and Italy–Slovenia sections of the Route, we examine the perspectives of both policy-makers and solidarity networks active in the area, noting how their divergent narratives contribute to the proliferation of conflicting formal and informal practices of border control.

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Volume 41 Issue 1

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