Volume 21, Issue 1 p. 146-169
Original Article
Open Access

Mobility hub or hollow? Cross-border travelling in the Mediterranean, 1995–2016

EMANUEL DEUTSCHMANN,

Corresponding Author

EMANUEL DEUTSCHMANN

Georg-August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany/European University Institute, Florence, Italy

Georg-August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany/European University Institute, Florence, Italy emanuel.deutschmann@uni-goettingen.de (corresponding author)Search for more papers by this author
ETTORE RECCHI,

ETTORE RECCHI

European University Institute, Florence, Italy/Sciences Po, Observatoire Sociologique du Changement (OSC), CNRS, Paris, France

Search for more papers by this author
FEDERICA BICCHI,

FEDERICA BICCHI

European University Institute, Florence, Italy/London School of Economics, London, England

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 23 July 2019

Abstract

The Mediterranean is often portrayed as a hub of human mobility. In this article, we test this widespread view by exploring the structure of travel flows in the region over the last two decades (1995–2016). We find that mobility is much higher and increasing more strongly along the northern than along the southern shore, thus creating a growing mobility divide. South–north and north–south movements are even scarcer and stagnate or even decline over time. With a Gini coefficient of .87, mobility flows are distributed extremely unequally across country pairs in the Mediterranean. Community detection algorithms reconfirm that mobility predominantly takes place in disparate clusters around the Mediterranean, not across it. These findings imply that a ‘neo-Braudelian’ view of the Mediterranean as a mobility hub is less justified than a ‘Rio Grande’ perspective that conceives of the Mediterranean as a mobility hollow. Multivariate regression models for network data suggest that geographical distance and, to a lesser extent, political visa regulations, explain the unequal mobility structure better than differences in economic well-being.

 

    The full text of this article hosted at iucr.org is unavailable due to technical difficulties.