The initial trigger to write this piece was not the tragedy of the events that took place in Paris on 13 November, but the refugee crisis that the Netherlands and many other European countries have experienced over the past few months. This crisis confronts us with the fragility of how we define and manage our borders. While recent decades have shown that conflicts on the periphery of Europe and beyond have resulted in sudden peaks in numbers of asylum seekers, we were nonetheless ‘surprised’ by the thousands of Syrian refugees arriving in our country, fleeing a conflict that has been going on for years.

18 March 2016 - article by Wouter Vanstiphout and Michelle Provoost