Maritime borders in the Mediterraneum and permeability: exchanges, control, refoulement (16th - 21st century)


This project aims at investigating the regulatory framework and control practices on exchanges and transits across maritime borders in the Mediterraneum, with a long-term historical and cross-sector approach, to historicize a phenomenon that is still relevant. A fresh approach combining the knowledge of the past with today’s reality will allow us to overcome sterile paradigms on the “clash of civilizations” and the “individualism v. community-based” duality, that have been characterizing the political and economic debate over the last few decades.
The study will examine a time frame spanning from the 16th century to today. This project has three main objectives: the first is to analyze and represent, through innovative tools and methods, how borders are built, according to economic, political, military, social and cultural movements. The second objective is to understand the relation between negative political and economic trends, the openness/closure of borders and the integration or refoulement of external subjects. The third objective is to analyze how political authorities used to govern emergencies as well as ordinary situations.
These objectives will be met through three research lines. The first involves studying borders permeability, the criteria to legitimately cross them and the institutions in charge of monitoring the transit of people and goods. The second research line faces the borders’ impact on the political, economic and social dimension of territories, the gradual transformation of national border areas into international border areas and the creation of new cross-border identities. The third research line will analyze policymaking practices of different authorities, starting from the communication with political and judicial institutions. All objectives will be pursued by the four research units: besides the University of Padua, these include the University of Genoa, the ISSM-CNR Institute of Naples and the University of Palermo (the coordinator of the project).
The long-term approach, from the Modern Age to today, will bring out not only changes in interactions between powers and institutions but also elements of continuity, possibly fostering reconsideration or refinement of existing policies, at a national and European level. When taking stock, a reflection will also be possible on the value of border control functions, to understand political and jurisdictional approaches, the efficiency of the system and the perceived level of safety.
Thanks to the research studies conducted in the framework of this project, the “border” will not be perceived, seen and considered merely as a barrier, but also as an opportunity and chance. This project has a website.

The project ended in

National Scientific Coordinator
Valentina Favarò (Università degli Studi di Palermo)

Task Groups
Andrea Caracausi (Università degli Studi di Padova)
Egidio Ivetic (Università degli Studi di Padova)
Walter Panciera (Università degli Studi di Padova)
Francesco Vianello (Università degli Studi di Padova)
Daniele Andreozzi (Università degli Studi di Trieste)
Dario Dell'Osa (Università Aldo Moro di Bari)
Corine Maitte (Université de Paris-Est-Marne-la-Vallée)
Olivier Raveaux (CNRS -Université Aix-en Provence)
Renato Sansa (Università della Calabria)
Laboratorio "Analyse Comparée des Pouvoirs" (ACP, EA 3350) della Université de Paris-Est-Marne-la-Vallée

Members of Padova's Task Group
Andrea Caracausi (Responsabile)
Egidio Ivetic
Walter Panciera
Francesco Vianello