1st Edition

Contentious Migrant Solidarity Shrinking Spaces and Civil Society Contestation

Edited By Donatella della Porta, Elias Steinhilper Copyright 2022
    254 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the context of both the financial crisis and the crisis of European migration politics, the notion of solidarity has gained renewed prominence and - as this book argues - its practice has become increasingly contentious. Intersecting crises have sharpened social and political polarization and have contracted simultaneously the space for migrant and minority rights as well as the rights around political dissent.

    Building upon social movement and migration studies, this book maps the two sides of ‘contentious solidarity’: a shrinking civic space and its contestation by civil society. The book thereby unfolds the variety of repressive means (physical, legal, administrative and discursive) employed by governmental and non-governmental bodies against migrant solidarity, but also looks at how civil society organizations react to these restrictions through at times moderation and at times increasing contention. The diagnosis of ‘contentious solidarity’ is located within two broader trends affecting the relationship between the state and civil society in a neoliberal context in general and since the financial crisis in particular.

    Bridging studies on social movement studies and civil society organizations, this volume contributes to recent reflections on repression of social movements as well as of a hybridization of civil society organizations. Given its broad scope and the utmost timeliness of the issues it addresses, the volume will be of interest to a broad academic and non-academic audience.

    1. Shrinking Spaces and Civil Society Contestation: An Introduction

    Donatella della Porta and Elias Steinhilper

    2. (Un)Contentious Solidarity at Sea: The Shifting Politics of Nongovernmental Rescue Activities in the Mediterranean

    Charles Heller

    3. The Criminalisation of Solidarity: Asylum-Seekers and Australia’s Illiberal Democracy

    Judith Bessant and Rob Watts

    4. Crimmigration and Solidarity in the Global City: The Case of Barcelona’s Street Vendors

    Raffaele Bazurli and Carlos Delclós

    5. Keeping It Private or Making It Political? ‘Soft Repression’ and the Depoliticization of Everyday Conversations Among Pro-Refugee Volunteers

    Gaja Maestri and Pierre Monforte

    6. Shrinking Digital Spaces: The Hijacking of #Refugees Welcome Campaigns on Twitter 

    Alexandra Cosima Budabin and Nina Hall

    7. Bureaucracy as Border: Barriers to Social Rights in Spain

    Marta Pérez, Débora Ávila, Sergio García, and Ariadna Ayala

    8. Mountain Patrols at the Franco-Italian Border: Performing Solidarity, Dissent, and Citizenship

    Janina Pescinski

    9. Scale-switching as a Response to a Shrinking Space for Solidarity: A Comparison of Denmark’s Venligboerne and Germany’s Seebrücke

    Leandros Fischer and Martin Bak Jørgensen

    10. Emotions in Shrinking Spaces for Migrant Solidarity: The Protest Campaign in the "Diciotti Ship Affair" at the Port of Catania

    Federica Frazzetta and Gianni Piazza

    11. Counterprotest and Anti-Racist Solidarity in the Trump Era

    Lesley J. Wood

    12. The "Solidarity Crime" in the Maritime Alps: Exploring the Effects of Criminal Trials on Migrant Solidarity Networks

    Solidarity Watch Collective


    Donatella della Porta is Professor of Political Science, Dean of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences and Director of the PhD program in Political Science and Sociology at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Florence, where she also leads the Center on Social Movement Studies (Cosmos). In 2011, she was the recipient of the Mattei Dogan Prize for distinguished achievements in the field of political sociology. She is Honorary Doctor of the universities of Lausanne, Bucharest, Goteborg, Jyvaskyla and the University of Peloponnese. Among her very recent publications are: Social Movements: An introduction, 3rd edition (2020); Can Social Movements Save Democracy? (2020), Die schöne neue Demokratie. Über das Potenzial sozialer Bewegungen (2020), Contesting Higher Education (2020), Discoursive Turns and Critical Junctures (2020), Legacies and Memories in Movements (2018).

    Elias Steinhilper is a postdoctoral researcher at the German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) in Berlin and a member of the Centre on Social Movements Studies (Cosmos) in Florence. Trained as a political sociologist in Berlin, Freiburg and Florence, he has a particular interest in migration, political conflict, civil society and social movements. His research has been published in various peer-reviewed journals including Sociology, Social Movement Studies, International Migration and in the recent monograph Migrant Protest. Interactive Dynamics in Precarious Mobilizations (2021).