Smugglers, Refugees, and Rebels: Conflict and the Geopolitics of Human Smuggling in the Mediterranean

Thursday, April 30, 2015
3pm in Marshall 490

Theodore Baird, PhD
Postdoctoral researcher
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 

Rather than conceiving of human smuggling only as a business organized for criminal profit, Dr. Baird will present a conceptualization of human smuggling as part of the political economy of conflict. He suggests that human smuggling is part of complex humanitarian emergencies, not only an aspect of transnational organized crime. He argues that human smuggling is the result of man-made disasters, not limited to war, and is an extension of human suffering. This argument calls for the development of new efforts to respond to human smuggling as a transnational aspect of humanitarian disasters, moving beyond current transnational police responses. Evidence in support of the argument is drawn from the case of human smuggling through Turkey and Greece. The talk will conclude with some notes on human smuggling in Libya and comparative migration studies.

Theodore Baird is a post-doc researcher at the Free University of Amsterdam in the Faculty of Law, Migration Law Section. He currently publishes on the issues of international migration, human smuggling and trafficking, and the political sociology of border security in Europe. 


Co-sponsors of this talk include: Arizona Center for Turkish Studies, Department of Gender and Women's Studies, and the School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies.

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