Humanitarianism as a Social Movement: Activism, Aid and The European Refugee Crisis

  • Proudfoot, Philip (PI)

Project: Research-related funding

Project Details


British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship

In 2015, one million refugees crossed the Mediterranean. Others did not make it as overloaded boats capsized and national authorities failed to respond. A horrified public demanded their governments do more, refugee camps across Europe were inundated with volunteers, and activist networks flourished. This project, through 16-months of participant-observation, will examine activist-humanitarian networks in the UK and Greece. In the UK, it will survey movements working ‘within the state’ through their provision of refugee services and political lobbying. In Greece, it will study anarchist movements working ‘outside the state,’ providing assistance in the gaps opened through austerity and activist militancy. The project engages with activists and refugees alike to reveal the mechanisms through which grassroots networks of solidarity are challenging European border regimes and failures in state or NGO level protection. To what extent then, if at all, have these movements politicised humanitarianism in the age of austerity?
Effective start/end date1/03/191/03/21


  • British Academy
  • Refugees
  • Syria
  • Lebanon
  • Europe
  • Activism
  • Civil Society
  • Political Anthropology


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