Maurizio Albahari

Associate Professor


B.A., Università Degli Studi di Firenze, Italy (2000)
M.A., Ph.D., University of California at Irvine (2006)

My scholarly and public engagement delves into the tension between human existence and structures of power. I focus on migration and refugee mobility; sovereignty, democracy, and human rights; citizenship, cities, and aesthetics; pluralism and religion in public life; and epistemology. My social-cultural and geopolitical vantage point centers on the Euro-Mediterranean region, including the Mediterranean Sea. Reflecting such interests, I serve as concurrent associate professor in the Keough School of Global Affairs, and I am a fellow with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Italian Studies, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. I also serve as a research associate at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UC San Diego.

My book Crimes of Peace: Mediterranean Migrations and the World’s Deadliest Border (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015; paperback, 2016) focuses on the harrowing bulletin, now spanning two decades, of refugee deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. It scrutinizes global fault lines critically reemerging in the Mediterranean: between Europe, Africa, and the Middle East; military and humanitarian intervention; Catholic charity, hospitality, and administrative detention; transnational smuggling and just-in-time sovereignty; the universal law of the sea and the proliferating thresholds of a globally parochial world. Reviews of Crimes of Peace have appeared in a variety of venues, e.g., the International Migration ReviewTimes Literary SupplementInternational Affairs, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology, Oxford’s Border Criminologies, Human Rights Quarterly, Cultures et Conflits, Social Anthropology, Migration Studies, CrImmigration: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration Law, the Boston Globe, and Choice.

My recent book Tra la Guerra e il Mare: Democrazia Migrante e Crimini di Pace (Manifestolibri, Italy, 2017) analyzes migration-related tensions and gray areas of our times, including between war and peace; democracy and authoritarianism. It investigates ongoing Italian and European efforts aimed at the containment, far from Europe’s southern shores, of unauthorized migrants (including would-be asylum seekers). By attending to these migrants’ existences, and to the intersectional dimension of civic struggles against crimes of peace, the book foregrounds the daily practice and larger vision of an emerging “migrant democracy.” More generally, my research continues to trace modalities of participatory citizenship and trans-Mediterranean mobilization emerging in the everyday life and aesthetics of maritime spaces and cities, with additional emphasis on urban Italy. Related work has recently appeared in Humanity, Anthropology TodayAnthropological QuarterlyAnthropology NowAnthropology News, and Social Research. I actively pursue the intersections of scholarship and engaged citizenship through public lectures and contributions in venues including the Cultural Anthropology website, Anthropology News, History News NetworkNotre Dame Magazine, Diritti Globali, openDemocracyMobilizing IdeasPerspektif Magazine, Fox News, and CNN.

Curriculum Vitae


266 Corbett Family Hall