Cite as: Cabot, H., 2018, “The European Refugee Crisis and HumanitarianCitizenship in Greece". ETHNOS DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2018.1529693
Greece has been at the epicentre of two overlapping ‘humanitarian crises:’ the economic crisis and the crisis of refugees. Since 2011, as austerity policies have hamstrung the Greek state’s capacity to meet the basic needs of citizens, long-term residents, and new arrivals alike, formal and informal humanitarian initiatives have sought to provide for diverse beneficiaries. Meanwhile, the ‘refugee crisis’ has opened up a booming humanitarian marketplace in Greece. This article draws on my long-term research in the field of asylum in Greece, and ethnographic data from research on ‘social solidarity clinics and pharmacies,’ grassroots initiatives meant to provide medicines and care to citizens and non-citizens in need. I argue that the Greek case signals the emergence of what I call ‘humanitarian citizenship’ on European margins: the replacement of both social rights (afforded to citizens) and human rights (afforded to refugees) with humanitarian logics and sentiments, positioning both citizens and non-citizens in a partially shared continuum of precarity.
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