Accepted paper:

At the fringes of Europe: What 'remote areas' can teach us about connections and separations in the Mediterranean

Authors:

Laia Soto Bermant (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

Taking as a departure point one of Europe's most remote borderlands, this paper explores how the constitution of Europe as a political, economic and cultural project has re-defined and re-signified local conflicts in Europe's southern periphery.

Paper long abstract:

Taking as a departure point one of Europe's most remote borderlands, this paper explores how the constitution of Europe as a political, economic and cultural project has re-defined and re-signified local conflicts in Europe's southern periphery. The Spanish enclave of Melilla is a 12 kmĀ² territory located on the north eastern coast of Morocco which has been under Spanish sovereignty since the late 15th century. When Spain signed the Schengen Agreement in 1991, this far-flung, remote enclave became Europe's southernmost border area. This changed drastically the enclave's geopolitical significance, both locally and internationally. The paper shows how structures of mobility and immobility across the Melillan border respond to a host of shifting alliances and interests that extend far beyond the enclave itself, and considers how new and old linkages and separations intersect. Spain's ambivalent relationship with North Africa since the 15th century, and the particular form this relationship takes in the Spanish enclave, is key to understand how and why Melilla came to assimilate its role as Europe's gate-keeper.

panel P073
Locating the Mediterranean: connections and separations across space and time