/ Forschung, Doktorat

Search and Rescue Ships as Exceptional Spaces in the Mediterranean: Navigating Emergencies, Threats and Governmental Actions

Article published by Cita Wetterich (PhD in Gender Studies)

Since 2014, there has been an increase in non-governmental Search and Rescue activities (SAR) on the Central Mediterranean Route (CMR). Scholarly attention has focused on refugees’ and migrants’ lived experiences on the route. When engaging with non-governmental SAR ships, recent migration scholarship mostly concentrated on their function to rescue and to be a symbol for political activism. What is currently missing is a thorough exploration of rescue ships exceeding their function to rescue through the lens of humanitarian action. Scholarship has to expand on mechanisms and dynamics of political interference and the rejection thereof. Hence, I explore how SAR vessels can be conceptualized as exceptional spaces and how this affects NGO activists on those ships.

This newly published article by Cita Wetterich is based on semi-structured interviews with activists that worked with SAR NGOs and on participatory observation on a SAR vessel. The article offers specific insights into the dynamics and mechanisms of rescue ships as exceptional spaces on the CMR and engages with wider debates about exceptional spaces.

Cita Wetterich is a PhD research fellow at the Center for Gender Studies at University of Basel and the Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institute in Freiburg. She completed an MA in International Security at the University of Warwick and one in International Administration and Conflict Management at the University of Konstanz. Her research focus is on the intersection between gender, (forced) migration and violence.

The full article is available through the link below.