Alumna Christal Chapman wins Han Entzinger EMDI Master thesis award

Christal Chapman at the ISS MA award ceremony

Christal Chapman won the prize for her MA research paper entitled 'Fighting for the Right to Save Others: Civil society responses to the criminalization of humanitarian assistance'.

Her paper analysed the various ways in which civil society has mobilized against the practice of criminalizing humanitarian actors who bring migrants into Italy and Greece subsequent to search and rescue in the Mediterranean Sea, an offence referred to as ‘facilitating entry’ in the EU.

Christal looked at both the legal and non-legal forms of mobilization and considered how civil society, especially humanitarian actors, justify their actions, and challenge their criminalization.

“a solid and ambitious contribution to the field"

In its verdict, the jury described the research as "... a solid and ambitious contribution to the field, methodologically rigorous, well-written and structured, and overall an excellent piece of research”.

One of the jury members, Professor Peter Scholten, described the thesis thus: “Christal Chapman’s master thesis ‘Fighting for the Right to Save Others’ deals with an incredibly pertinent topic; the criminalization of support and rescue agencies in the Mediterranean. While engaging in this incredibly complex and sensitive topic, Chapman also engages in a critical and instructive dialogue with the broader literatures on criminalization, law fare and legal mobilization. The thesis is a clear token for how rigor and relevance can be combined, and an inspiring example for students of the complexities of contemporary migration challenges.”

Christal Chapman graduated from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in 2019 with an MA in Development Studies, Governance of Migration and Diversity track.

Download and read the thesis - Fighting for the Right to Save Others.

The Han Entzinger EMDI Master thesis award

The Han Entzinger EMDI Master thesis award is awarded annually by the Erasmus Migration and Diversity Institute. It is open to all EUR and ISS master students who wrote a thesis related to migration and migration-related diversity.

More information

About Han Entzinger 

Professor Han Entzinger is one of the pioneers of migration research at Erasmus University Rotterdam as well as in the Netherlands and Europe more in general. At Erasmus University, he not only spurred the development of interdisciplinary research on migration and diversities, but also the increased attention to these themes within education.

At a European level, Han Entzinger was one of the pioneers of European networks for collaboration on migration studies (IMISCOE) and for the development of more comparative research.

The Han Entzinger Best Migration Master Thesis Award is intended to mark and keep alive this legacy of his work. Professor Entzinger is the chair of the jury for the award, which also included other members of the Erasmus Migration and Diversity Institute (EMDI).

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