“Let them in!” Humanitarian work as political activism? The case of the Maximiliaan refugee camp in Brussels.

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humanitarian aid projects associated with the emergence of refugee camps within European territories are generally perceived as apolitical. Scholars however, are increasingly questioning this view, pointing to many, often untold, ways in which humanitarianism interacts with the politics of migration and border enforcement. This article examines the case of a temporary refugee camp set up in Brussels in September 2015. We show how organizational and spatiotemporal particularities, as well as media framing of the humanitarian assistance, led to controversy, civil initiatives, and hyperpoliticization, eventually calling the state to take responsibility for the refugees, but simultaneously silenced other explicit political responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-203
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies
Volume17
Issue number2
Early online date20 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Agamben
  • Asylum seekers
  • Belgium
  • Maximiliaan Park
  • humanitarianism
  • hyper-politicization
  • refugee camp

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