The 'good' smuggler : the ethics and morals of human smuggling among Syrians
Title: The 'good' smuggler : the ethics and morals of human smuggling among Syrians
Author: ACHILLI, Luigi
Citation: The ANNALS of the American academy of political and social science, 2018, Vol. 676, No. 1, pp. 77-96
ISSN: 0002-7162; 1552-3349
This article challenges the categorization of smugglers as wicked villains by exploring smuggling’s moral economy. I present findings from two years of ethnographic field research on Syrian refugees and smugglers in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Italy, and along the so-called Balkan route (Greece, Macedonia, and Serbia). The relationship between the smugglers and the migrants appeared to be rich in solidarity and reciprocity and grounded in local notions of morality. Far from the dominant official narrative in the West of reckless criminals driven only by profit, smugglers sought and often found moral legitimation by using long-held notions of morality and religious duties when confronting the risky realities of their illicit enterprise.
First Published February 21, 2018
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