Book Launch: Border Harms and Everyday Violence

Event date
4 June 2024
Event time
15:00 - 16:30
Oxford week
TT 7

Evgenia Iliadou

Steve Tombs

Francesca Soliman

Imen El Amouri

Victoria Canning


Book Launch: Border Harms and Everyday Violence
June 4th 2024, 3-4.30pm online

Evgenia Iliadou in discussion with Steve Tombs, Francesca Soliman, Imeni Al Amouri (chair) and Victoria Canning

Focused on the Greek island of Lesvos as the epicentre of the refugee crisis, the book Border Harms and Everyday Violence. A Prison island in Europe, examines the issue of border harms, everyday violence, abandonment, and human degradation faced by border crossers on Lesvos island. The book exposes how contemporary border-related harms, border policies and practices are linked to much longer genealogies of border violence towards people seeking sanctuary to the region. Contrary to viewing border crossings and related suffering and deaths as isolated incidents or crises, the book argues that they are outcomes of political decisions, actions, and inactions across time and space. Thus, the so-called 'refugee crisis' is portrayed as part of a continuum of border harms across time and space.

During the book launch, we will explore the themes illuminated in the book and discuss the broader implications of the EU border regime and deterrence policies, addressing crucial questions about the normalisation of social harm experienced by border crossers. Furthermore, we aim to foster a dialogue on the collective, global responsibility for safeguarding border crossers' human rights and understanding the refugee crisis as part of a continuum of border harms across time and space. Drawing from zemiology, critical migration and border studies, and social anthropology, our discussion will critically examine the cumulative dimension of border harms, emphasising the coercive and damaging nature of incidents that often fall outside the conventional definitions of violence and crime. 



This is the first launch of Border Zemiologies, Border Criminologies' latest thematic group. 

The Border Zemiologies thematic group focuses on the harmful nature of borders that permeates all aspects of our social lives. Contemporary bordering is increasingly characterised by invisibilised forms of bureaucratic violence, which include restrictions on housing, access to healthcare, personal autonomy, opportunities to work or study, and even marriage, family rights, and relationships. The effects of these barriers to human realisation range from dehumanisation and degradation to the infliction of mental, emotional, or physical harms. The sesocially mediated harms are often difficult to recognise and have complex causes,making harm mitigation evermore challenging.

This thematic group seeks to explore and expose the multifarious impacts of bordering in the everyday lives of migrants, and the personal and societal consequences of border harms. We are interested in highlighting the racialised and gendered implications of neo-colonial legacies of exclusion, from the exceptional to the mundane. We welcome interest in autonomy harms, emotional and psychological harms, physical harms, relational harms, environmental and non-human harms, and in any strategies to counteract and resist these border harms. In particular, we strive to encourage a platform for those most affected by border harms to speak out, and for those with capacity to challenge border harms to engage and collaborate.

If you would like to join the group please contact one of the three convenors: Imen El Amouri (, Francesca Soliman (, and Victoria Canning (

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