Special issue of the journal Intersections. East European Journal of Society and Politics “Grassroots responses to mass migration in Europe”, co-edited by Čarna Brković, Antonio De Lauri, and Sabine Hess
2015 has not only seen a mass flight movement but also an explosion of helping hands of various kinds, by migrant networks, spontaneous volunteers, civil associations, local NGOs, and so forth mitigating the unfolding ‘migration reception crisis’. A conspicuous body of research focusing on such grassroots responses to mass migration, the role of volunteers and activism has been emerging since (Feischmidt at al., 2018; McGee & Pelham, 2018; Rozakou, 2017; Sandri, 2017; Sutter, 2020). This literature has emphasized important aspects of the broad migration receiving apparatus, which is not only constituted by governmental and inter-governmental actors but also by these practices of humanitarianism from below producing highly ambivalent and complex assemblage of power, hierarchies and moral entanglements.
The papers in this special issue illustrate the complexities of ﬁnding the right vocabulary— both descriptive and analytical—to explain how people living across Europe have responded to the recent shifts in the EU border regime. This thematic issue contributes to the ongoing lively debates on the relationship between humanitarianism, solidarity, and human rights in Europe. It does so by approaching the concept of ‘grassroots’ critically and from an ethnographic perspective.