Brexit, viral borders and vaccine nationalism

By Michaela Benson (@michaelacbenson) and Nando Sigona (@nandosigona) (Originally published in The Sociological Review) Three weeks into 2021 and the end of the Brexit transition period, and not a day has passed where the borders haven’t made their presence felt in the news cycle. The coincidence of COVID and Brexit has produced a perfect storm,... Continue Reading →

Rome mayor’s anti-migrant stance signals shift to right for Italy’s Five Star Movement

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Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham

The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, believes the Italian capital is facing a new migrant emergency. “We can’t afford new arrivals,” she argued in a letter sent to Italy’s Ministry of Interior on June 15. “Rome’s reception capacity is on its knees,” she continued, adding that new arrivals would have “devastating social costs”. According to the Italian interior minister, Marco Minniti, new arrivals in Rome are in line with agreed quotas.

This was not Raggi’s view only six months ago, when she spoke in early December at an event hosted by the Roman Catholic Church to showcase positive responses to refugees in European cities. Raggi, who is from Beppe Grillo’s Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S) or Five Star Movement, praised the role that cities such as Rome and Barcelona have in welcoming refugees and celebrated the contributions newcomers bring to society. In a post…

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