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Maurice Stierl

Maurice Stierl

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

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I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Warwick (May 2018-July 2021). Until recently, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Comparative Border Studies at the University of California, Davis (2015-2017). My research focuses on migration and border struggles in contemporary Europe and is broadly situated in the disciplines of International Relations, International Political Sociology, Political Geography, and Security, Migration, Citizenship & Border Studies. Some of my work has appeared in the journals EPC: Politics and Space, Antipode, Globalizations, International Political Sociology, South Atlantic Quarterly, American Behavioral Scientist, Citizenship Studies, Movements, Global Society, Spheres, and elsewhere. My book 'Migrant Resistance in Contemporary Europe' was published by Routledge in 2019. I am an editor of the journal Citizenship Studies and a member of the activist project WatchTheMed Alarm Phone.

Project Outline

My Leverhulme-funded research project is entitled: ‘The EU’s contested forms of Border Governance in the Mediterranean Sea’. During my fellowship, I will investigate emerging forms of EU border governance in the Mediterranean Sea, which evolve in conflictual processes, often situated between humanitarian rescue logics and the enactment of migrant deterrence. The Mediterranean constitutes a focal point and laboratory of EU border governance, and, arguably, it is here that changes in migration policies have their most immediate and consequential effects. In 2016, we witnessed multiple large-scale shipwrecks leading to the highest recorded death toll in the history of Mediterranean migration, with more than 5,000 fatalities. My research, situated both in European and North African contexts, will examine how human movements and their governance shape this contested political space. Analysing processes of and struggles over migration will advance an understanding of the role of the EU in maritime border regions, the practices and strategies of migration as well as the interventions of third parties, such as international organisations, NGOs, and activist groups. Exploring the interconnectivities of these actors and the struggles between them within the ‘force field’ of the Mediterranean will provide novel insights into this borderzone.

Recent Publications

Stierl, M., ‘Do No Harm? The Impact of Policy on Migration Scholarship’. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space (2020): Open access here

Stierl, M. (2019/20) Migrant Resistance in Contemporary Europe (London: Routledge). Paperback version here

Stierl, M. ‘Re-Imagining EUrope through the Governance of Migration’. International Political Sociology, 14:3 (2020): 252–269.

Stierl, M., ‘Of Migrant Slaves and Underground Railroads - Movement, Containment, Freedom’. American Behavioral Scientist (2020), 64:4, 456-479.

Stierl, M. and Schwarz, N., 'Amplifying Migrant Voices and Struggles at Sea as a Radical Practice'. The South Atlantic Quarterly (2019), 118:3, 661-669.

Stierl, M., Heller, C., and Pezzani, L., 'Vers une politique de la liberté de mouvement', Communications, 104 (2019), 79-93.

Stierl, M., Heller, C., and Pezzani, L., ‘Toward a Politics of Freedom of Movement’, in Reece Jones (ed.), Open Borders: In Defense of Free Movement (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2019).

Stierl, M. ‘Civil Society: From Sympathy to Solidarity’, in: Florian Weis et al (eds.): Atlas of Migration: Facts and figures about people on the move (Berlin: Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung, 2019)

Stierl, M. (2019) Migrant Resistance in Contemporary Europe (London: Routledge).

Stierl, M., ‘Excessive Migration, Excessive Governance - Border Entanglements in Greek EUrope’. In The Borders of ‘EUrope’: Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, edited by N. De Genova, Duke University Press, 2017.

Stierl, M., Heller, C., and Pezzani, L., ‘Disobedient Sensing and Border Struggles at the maritime Frontier of EUrope’, Spheres - Journal for Digital Cultures, 4 (2017), 1-15.

Stierl, M. (2018) ‘A Fleet of Mediterranean Border Humanitarians’, Antipode 50(3): 704-724

Stierl, M., ‘Comparative Views on European and US-Mexican Border Struggles’, Transas, (2017).

Stierl, M., ‘A Sea of Struggle: Activist Border Interventions in the Mediterranean Sea’, Citizenship Studies, 20:5 (2016), 561-578.

Stierl, M., Rygiel, K., and Ataç, I., ‘The Contentious Politics of Refugee and Migrant Protest and Solidarity Movements: Remaking Citizenship from the Margins’, Citizenship Studies, 20:5 (2016), 527-544.

Stierl, M., ‘Contestations in Death: The Role of Grief in Migration Struggles’, Citizenship Studies, 20:2 (2016), 173-191.

Stierl, M. and Rossdale, C., ‘Everything is Dangerous: Conduct and Counter-Conduct in the Occupy Movement’, Global Society, 30:2 (2016), 157-178.

Stierl, M., member of the New Keywords Collective, ‘Europe/Crisis: New Keywords of ‘the Crisis’ in and of ‘Europe’’, edited by Martina Tazzioli and Nicholas De Genova. New Futures Online, Zone Books. 2016.

Stierl, M., ‘The WatchTheMed Alarm Phone. A Disobedient Border-Intervention’, Movements, 1:2 (2015).

Stierl, M., Ataç, I., Kron, S., Schilliger, S., and Schwiertz, H. 2015. ‘Struggles of Migration as in-/visible Politics’, Movements, 1:2 (2015), 1-18.

Stierl, M., ‘‘No One Is Illegal!’ Resistance and the Politics of Discomfort’, Globalizations, 9:3 (2012), 425-438.

Stierl, M., Book Review of The Migration Apparatus: Security, Labor, and Policymaking in the European Union by Gregory Feldman (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012), in International Migration Review, 46:4 (2012), pp. 1016-1018.

Journalistic Publications

Stierl and Dadusc, 'Call it what it is, a massacre at Europe's doorstep', Aljazeera, 21 November 2020.

Stierl, Tondo and Blackall, ‘UN refugee agency calls on EU nations to let in migrants rescued in Mediterranean’, The Guardian, 29 August 2020.

Stierl and Tondo, ‘Banksy-funded boat nears 'state of emergency' as it shelters 200 people’, The Guardian, 28 August 2020.

Stierl and Tondo, ‘Banksy funds refugee rescue boat operating in Mediterranean’, The Guardian, 27 August 2020.

Stierl and Tondo, ‘Migrants stranded at sea for three weeks now risk deportation, aid groups warn’, The Guardian, 19 June 2019.

Stierl and Tondo, ‘Bangladeshi migrants in Tunisia forced to return home, aid groups claim’, The Guardian, 25 June 2019.

Stierl and Tondo, ‘UN migration agency accused of pressuring Bangladeshis to return home’, The Guardian, 26 August 2019.

Open Access and Online Publications

Stierl, 'How should we study Europe's harmful migration policies?', Open Democracy 29 October 2020.

Stierl, 'Freedom and Force: Contesting the Figure of the Migrant Slave', Border Criminologies, 14 October 2020.

Stierl, ‘Black lives are being lost in the Mediterranean – but the world remains silent’, The Conversation, 8 July 2020.

Stierl, ‘Migration: how Europe is using coronavirus to reinforce its hostile environment in the Mediterranean’, The Conversation, 13 May 2020.

Stierl and Mezzadra, ‘What happens to Freedom of Movement during a Pandemic?’, Open Democracy, 24 March 2020.

Stierl et al, ‘WatchTheMed Alarm Phone: A Response for Rescue and a Call for Change’, Interview with European Council on Refugees and Exiles, 14 February 2020.

Stierl, ‘How migrants and their supporters are reviving the ethos of the 19th-century underground railroad’, The Conversation, 19 December 2019.

Stierl, ‘Can Migrants at Sea be Heard?’ 06 November 2019, Discover Society.

Stierl and Mezzadra, ‘The Mediterranean battlefield of migration’, Open Democracy, 12 April 2019.

Stierl, ‘From Migrants to Pirates: How Identities Change During Mediterranean Passage’, The Globe Post, 3 April 2019.

Stierl, ‘Migrants calling us in distress from the Mediterranean returned to Libya by deadly ‘refoulement’ industry’, The Conversation, 7 February 2019.

Stierl, ‘Every refugee boat a rebellion? Supporting border transgressions at sea’, Open Democracy, 18 September 2016.