Today everything is immigration.
—donald tusk, President of the European Council, September 3, 2015
We cannot point to a place, state or continent called Europe which readily reveals its
borders, edges or divisions to an impartial observer. On the contrary . . . debates about
the frontiers of Europe are unavoidably political interventions which interject elements
of fixture into the fluid and ambiguous space that is Europe.
—william walters, “Europe’s Borders,” 487
The representation of Europe’s borders is, of course, symbolic. But the signs and symbols
have a history.
—talal asad, “Muslims and European Identity,” 220
This book has arisen in the midst of what has been ubiquitously and virtually
unanimously declared in mass-mediated public discourse and the dominant
political debate to be a “crisis” of migration in Europe.
The first intimations of a European crisis arose amid the unsightly accu-
mulation of dead black and brown bodies awash on the halcyon shores of the
Mediterranean Sea. When a ship transporting as many as 850 migrants and
refugees capsized on April 19, 2015, all but 28 of the vessel’s passengers w ere sent to
their deaths in what appears to have been the worst border- c rossing shipwreck
The Borders of “Europe” and
the European Question
nicholas de genova