Motivations and Effects of Volunteering for Refugees. Spaces of Encounter and Political Influence of the 'New Civic Engagement' in Milan


Abstract


The article focuses on the new civic engagement often referred to as volunteer welcome initiatives. Indeed, during the misnamed 'migration/refugee crisis', a consistent number of citizens in Europe engaged in practices of helping toward refugees and migrants. Based on participant observations and 28 interviews with volunteers from four different voluntary groups running their activities in Milan, Italy, I argue that such organizations offer a space of encounter and confrontation with migrants throughout which volunteers develop a strong sense of outrage and critical awareness of asylum system deficiencies. Moreover, it is argued that these organizations have had an important role within Milan's urban policy arena, to the extent that they contributed in shaping how the challenges of receiving the many newcomers were addressed locally.

Keywords: Civil society mobilisations; immigrant rights movement; Milan; volunteering; welcome initiatives

References


Ambrosini, M. (2016). Why irregular migrants arrive and remain: the role of intermediar-ies. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(11), 1813–1830.

Ambrosini, M. (Ed.). (2016). Volontariato post-moderno: da Expo Milano 2015 alle nuove forme di impegno sociale. FrancoAngeli.

Amin, A. (2004). Regions unbound: towards a new politics of place. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 86(1), 33–44.

Beck, U. (2006). Cosmopolitan vision. Cambridge: Polity.

Buckel, S. (2016) 'Welcome Management: Making Sense of the “Summer of Migration”' Near Futures Online 1 “Europe at a Crossroads”: http://nearfuturesonline.org/welcome-management-making-sense-of-the-summer-of-migration/

Campesi, G. (2011). The Arab Spring and the crisis of the European border regime: manu-facturing emergency in the Lampedusa crisis. Migration Working Group Discussion Pa-per.

Campesi, G. (2014). “Immigrant detention and the double logic of securitization in Italy.” In The EU, migration and the politics of administrative detention, edited by Michela Ceccorulli, Nicola Labanca, 161-182. Routledge.

Castelli Gattinara, P. (2017). The “refugee crisis” in Italy as a crisis of legitimacy. Contem-porary Italian Politics, 9(3), 318–331

Castles, S. (2003). Towards a Sociology of Forced Migration and Social Transformation. Sociology, 37(1), 13–34.

Conradson, D. (2003). Spaces of care in the city: the place of a community drop-in centre. Social & Cultural Geography, 4(4), 507–525.

Costa, G. (2017). Milano: prove d'innovazione sociale nel campo dell'accoglienza dei pro-fughi e richiedenti asilo. In Lodigiani R. (ed.) Milano 2017 Una metropoli per innovare, crescere, sognare. Franco Angeli, 173- 192.

Darling, J. (2008). Cities of refuge Asylum and the politics of hospitality (Doctoral disserta-tion, Durham University).

Darling, J. (2010). A city of sanctuary: the relational re-imagining of Sheffield’s asylum politics. Transactions of the Institute of British

Geographers, 35(1), 125–140.

Darling, J. (2011). Giving space: Care, generosity and belonging in a UK asylum drop-in centre. Geoforum, 42(4), 408–417.

De Jong, S., & Ataç, I. (2017). Demand and Deliver: Refugee Support Organisations in Aus-tria. Social Inclusion, 5(3), 28.

Deleuze, G., and F. Guattari (1986) Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Derrida, J. (2001). On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness (Thinking in Action). Routledge.

Dürrschmidt, J. (2000). Everyday lives in the global city: The delinking of locale and milieu. New York: Routledge.

Fassin, D. (2012). Humanitarian reason: a moral history of the present. University of Cali-fornia Press.

Fleischmann, L., & Steinhilper, E. (2017). The Myth of Apolitical Volunteering for Refu-gees: German Welcome Culture and a New Dispositif of Helping. Social Inclusion, 5(3), 17.

Fontanari, E. (2016). Soggettività en transit:(im) mobilità dei rifugiati in Europa tra sistemi di controllo e pratiche quotidiane di attraversamento dei confini. Mondi migranti, 1(1), 39-60.

Glick Schiller, N. (2016). The question of solidarity and society: comment on Will Kymlicka’s article:“Solidarity in Diverse Societies”. Comparative Migration Studies, 4(1)

Gobo, G. (2008). Doing ethnography. London: Sage.

Goodwin, Jeff, James M. Jasper, and Francesca Polletta, eds. (2001). Passionate politics: Emotions and social movements. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Gupta, A., & Ferguson, J. (1992). Beyond “Culture”: Space, Identity, and the Politics of Difference. Cultural Anthropology, 7(1), 6–23.

Hamann, U., & Karakayali, S. (2016). Practicing Willkommenskultur: Migration and Soli-darity in Germany. Intersections, 2(4).

Hamington, M. (2007). Care Ethics and International Justice. Social Philosophy Today, 23, 149–160.

Herr, K., & Anderson, G. L. (2005). The continuum of positionality in action research. The action research dissertation: A guide for students and faculty, 29-48.

Isin, E. F. (2012). Citizens without frontiers. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.

Jasper, J. M. (2011). Emotions and Social Movements: Twenty Years of Theory and Re-search. Annual Review of Sociology, 37(1), 285–303.

Karakayali, S. (2017). Feeling the Scope of Solidarity: The Role of Emotions for Volunteers Supporting Refugees in Germany. Social Inclusion, 5(3), 7.

Karakayali, S., & Kleist, J. O. (2016). Volunteers and asylum seekers. Forced Migration Re-view, 51, 65-67.

Kersch, A., & Mishtal, J. (2016). Asylum in Crisis: Migrant Policy, Entrapment, and the Role of Non-Governmental Organisations in Siracusa, Italy. Refugee Survey Quarter-ly, 35(4), 97-121.

Malkki, L. H. (2015). The need to help: The domestic arts of international humanitarian-ism. Duke University Press.

Marengo, F. (2015). The Treviso paradox. The Lega Nord at the inclusion test. Etnografia e ricerca qualitativa, 8(1), 111-132.

Massey, D. (2004). Geographies of responsibility. Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 86(1), 5–18.

Mayer, M. (2017). Cities as sites of refuge and resistance. European Urban and Regional Studies, 25(3), 232–249.

Milan, C. (2018). Emotions that Mobilise: The Emotional Basis of Pro-asylum Seeker Ac-tivism in Austria. In Solidarity Mobilizations in the ‘Refugee Crisis’ (pp. 183-208). Pal-grave Macmillan, Cham.

Monforte, P. (2014). The cognitive dimension of social movements' Europeanization pro-cesses. the case of the protests against ‘Fortress Europe’. Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 15(1), 120-137.

Nail, T. (2015). Migrant cosmopolitanism. Public Affairs Quarterly, 29(2), 187-200. NJ: Princeton University Press.

Nyers, P., & Rygiel, K. (2012). Citizenship, migrant activism and the politics of movement. Routledge.

Oomen, B., and Baumgärtel, M. (2014). Human rights cities. The Sage Handbook of Hu-man Rights. Sage, London, 709-729.

Panzera (2017). Emergenza immigrazione, regimi speciali, diritti fondamentali: prime no-tazioni sul decreto «Minniti-Orlando». Quaderni costituzionali / a. XXXVII, n. 3, 620-623

Rancière, J. (1999). Disagreement. Politics and philosophy. Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis University Press.

Sassen, S. (2013). When the center no longer holds: Cities as frontier zones. Cities, 34, 67–70.

Sinatti, G. (2019). Humanitarianism as Politics: Civil Support Initiatives for Migrants in Mi-lan’s Hub. Social Inclusion. 7(2). [in press]

Smets, P. (2011). Community development in contemporary ethnic-pluriform neighbour-hoods: a critical look at social mixing. Community Development Journal, 46(Supplement 2), ii15–ii32.

Ticktin, M. I. (2011). Casualties of care: Immigration and the politics of humanitarianism in France. University of California Press.

Vacchiano, F. (2011). Frontiere della vita quotidiana: pratiche di burocratica violenza nell’accoglienza di richiedenti asilo e rifugiati in Vailati A., Un rifugio all’esclusione. L’accoglienza non istituzionale dei richiedenti asilo a Torino, L’Harmattan.

Valentine, G. (2008). Living with difference: reflections on geographies of encounter. Progress in Human Geography, 32(3), 323–337.

Williams, M. J. (2016). Justice and care in the city: uncovering everyday practices through research volunteering. Area, 48(4), 513–520.

Witteborn, S. (2011). Constructing the Forced Migrant and the Politics of Space and Place-making. Journal of Communication, 61(6), 1142–1160.

Wuthnow, R. (1991). Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves. Princeton University Press

Youkhana, E., & Sutter, O. (2017). Perspectives on the European Border Regime: Mobilization, Contestation and the Role of Civil Society. Social Inclusion, 5(3), 1-6.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.