Dr. Maurice Stierl is a Leverhulme Fellow at the University of Warwick (May 2018-April 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, and Migration, Citizenship & Border Studies. Some of my work has appeared in the journals Antipode, Globalizations, Citizenship Studies, Movements, Global Society, Spheres, Transas, and elsewhere. I am an editor of the journal Citizenship Studies, and am a member of the activist project WatchTheMed Alarm Phone as well as the research collectives Kritnet, MobLab, and Authority & Political Technologies.
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.