The study is based on a multi-sited transnational research design to simultaneously gather and analyse data from a large number of migrants. We have conducted 500 semi-structured interviews with migrants, who have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe during 2015. We worked with our international partners in each country to carry out these interviews in Greece (Athens, Lesbos) and Italy, (Sicily, Apulia, Rome, Piedmont, Bologna), Malta and Turkey (Izmir).
We also carried out over 100 interviews with governmental, non-governmental and civil society organisations to gather broader insights into the experiences and journeys of the migrants with whom they come into contact. Finally, ethnographic observations were also conducted at each site.
Our analysis was grounded within existing meta-level frameworks for understanding migrant journeys, including the political and policy contexts within which this migration takes place.
We also explored the structural determinants of migration at the meso-level, focusing on both the opportunities and constraints that shape migration. Doing so enabled us to take account of the cognitive and behavioural processes that shape migration at the micro-level, including aspirations, individual perceptions including perceptions of risk, decision making and the interaction of migrants with the different actors including smugglers that facilitate migration.