Transcapes: transient populations transforming the European political space

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Geography


'Transcapes is a collective research project using what Europe's mainstream political and media discourse has framed as a refugee crisis, in order to understand wider transformations in the geopolitical body of Europe itself. Situating ourselves in the island of Lesbos, we examine the key actors on the island - humanitarian, social, political - and the contestation over fields and spaces of action opening in the midst of this emergency and the greatest population move in the continent in decades. Broadening our scope, we also look at Greece as a vector of its own contradictions and as the object of political decisions which will inevitably compromise its already weak position within the EU. In the third and largest of our cognitive concentric circles (Lesbos, Greece, the EU), we are trying to understand the crisis of Europe's own decision-making and executing mechanisms as a whole: to read through the inconsistencies and gaps in these and to follow and map out what emerges out of these transformations.'

Planned Impact

Impact Summary
The project will produce a Migration Crisis Map, while it will also focus on finding ways for its beneficiaries to participate in the knowledge production process. Our research team has already been in contact and worked closely with the main stakeholders so as to include their input in the conceptualisation and development of our original research proposal: we have done this by building on our existing networks on the ground, since the PI and the two ECO consultants are originally from Greece and have conducted most of their work in the country. The consultation process with the key beneficiaries will continue following the start of, and throughout our project in order to ensure that beneficiaries' needs and expectations are being met.

At the project's final phase (phase D, see Timetable and Workplan), the research team will conduct a series of dissemination events, including a day-long workshop in Athens (February 2017) and an end-of-project summit (April 2017), both in order to present the use of the Migration Crisis Map in the project, and its potential future uses by other researchers. The workshop will feature preliminary discussion with the Advisory Board, while the summit will bring together all partners and key beneficiaries in order to strengthen the ties and ensure their future collaboration as well as the use and further development of the map.


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Description We have explored in-depth the European Comission's 'hotspot' approach to the migrant/refugee crisis and we have discovered that as a population management tool, it can potentially act as a blueprint much exceeding the crisis itself: in terms of the capacity it allows for international bodies (such as Frontex police etc) to act in national member-state territories.
Exploitation Route We believe that our findings on the hotspot will be of relevance to all scholars, journalists and concerned members of the public that are interested in the effect of the scaling up of state functions (such as welfare and security) to international bodies and organisations.
Sectors Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy

Description Transcapes has produced a series of in-depth reports - in the form of journal articles, online commentaries and our upcoming monograph - that have been widely disseminated and discussed beyond the usual academic circles, thereby enhancing the public debate on migration, mobility and new technologies of governance. We anticipate this impact will be further strengthened once our monograph is out: we have chosen to publish with Pluto, a well-respected publisher that crosses the academic and general public realm, while the first chapter of our monograph will be available open access - which, we anticipate, will further contribute to the impact of our findings.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

Description MMRP Policy co-ordination
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Description Urban Studies Foundation Seminar Series
Amount £20,000 (GBP)
Organisation Urban Studies Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 12/2019
Description BBC Radio Sheffield interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview with BBC Radio Sheffield on borders and migration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019