The Networked Refugee

My article ‘The Networked Refugee: The role of transnational networks in the journeys across the Mediterranean’ is available (open access) on Global Networks. This is part of a special issue by Janne Dahinden and Louise Ryan on migration and network analysis. To access the article, please click here.

Abstract – The experience of migrants crossing the Mediterranean has been represented as that of passive components of large‐scale human flows driven by conflicts, migration policies and smuggling. This article proposes a reflection on the advantages of using a social network lens to better understand these experiences at a micro‐ and meso‐level, bringing to the fore the personal and relational dimensions. By examining the narratives of people who reached the coasts of Sicily (Italy) via the Libyan route, the article highlights the key role of local and transnational ties at every single juncture of these very long, often serendipitous journeys. The concept of ‘journey’ is used to frame this analysis, but also to debunk some of the deterministic, static and Euro‐centred assumptions, which have characterized mainstream narratives and some scholarly debates. Thus, the refugee journey emerges as a fluid process characterized by the continuous deconstruction and reconstruction of social networks.


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