10 Feb 2020 12:30pm - 2:00pm CRASSH Meeting Room, CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT


“The work in progress seminars offered an excellent forum for eliciting feedback on one’s work from a cross-disciplinary audience” (Dr Christopher Meckstroth, Early Career Fellow 2018-19)

Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work in Progress Seminar Series. All welcome but please email Michelle Maciejewska to book your place and to request readings. A sandwich lunch and refreshments are provided.

Dr Lorena Gazzotti

Since the early 2000s, the European Union (EU) and its member states have used development aid as an instrument to support migration control cooperation in non-EU countries. Morocco has been a testing ground for this approach to border surveillance: since 2001, Moroccan and International non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as International Organisations (IOs) (in particular the IOM and the UNHCR) operating in the country have received European funding to implement migration-related projects. A burgeoning academic literature has analysed the rise of a “migration industry”, understood as the involvement of non-state or quasi-state actors (private companies, NGOs, IOs, UN agencies, and the likes) in border surveillance. Existing scholarship has, however, substantially overlooked at the effect that funding injections have on the composition of “civil society” in aid-recipient countries, on the relations between civil society organisations and on the latter’s capacity to oppose the existing normative border order. Building on Rea’s concept of “civil society colonization”, this paper argues that funding injections fragment the existing civil society landscape in two ways. On the one hand, they generate conflict between organisations that accept and those that refuse donors’ funding. On the other hand, they create racialized hierarchies of privilege and marginalization between organisations that have access to aid (mainly IO and INGOs and, to a lesser extent, Moroccan NGOs) and those which play the role of aid brokers, but struggle to obtain funding (mainly, migrant-led NGOs). 


I obtained my PhD in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge in 2019. Before Cambridge, I completed a BA and MA in Foreign Languages at the University of Bologna, where I benefitted from the financial and pastoral support of the Collegio Superiore. I held visiting positions at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and at the Centre Jacques Berque pour les Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Rabat. During my studies, I have also worked as a seasonal agricultural worker, as an ice-cream vendor, as an administrative assistant, and as a research consultant at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


Gazzotti, L., 2019, Deaths, Borders, and the Exception: Humanitarianism at the Spanish–Moroccan Border, American Behavioral Scientist, Special issue on Deaths at the borders: Revisiting the debate in the light of the Euro-Mediterranean crisis. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764219882990

Gazzotti, Lorena, 2018, From irregular emigration to radicalisation? Fragile borders, securitised development and the governance of Moroccan youth. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Gazzotti, Lorena, 2017, Local governance, civil society and migrants’ support to local development: perspectives from Morocco, in Lacroix, Thomas and Desille, Amandine (eds.), International Migrations and Local Governance: A Global Perspective, Palgrave MacMillan

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