013 Practices and Discourses of European External Migration Policies: Beyond a Eurocentric Analysis of European External Action.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 9:00 AM-10:45 AM
5.59 (PC Hoofthuis)
The constitution of a European migration policy has proved difficult, because member States have been reluctant to delegate to the European Union, but also because the genesis and implementation of these policies has met with reluctance or opposition from external countries and civil society. The analysis of European migration policy is often Eurocentric and concentrated on the highest levels of policy-making. This panel is an attempt to study an external policy of the EU by “provincializing Europe” (Chakrabarty 2000): although focused on European policies, the papers will move away from a description of European institutions as central. By looking at day-to-day practices and discourses of actors and exploring the interactions of EU actors with the “external” – external countries, international organizations, NGOs – this panel will show that the complexity of building a European external policy does not lie only within Europe.

Since the European Council of Tampere (1999), the Commission has been in charge of several dimensions of EU external migration policy: asylum, visa, border control and the fight against irregular migration. The literature examining the developments of the EU’s external migration policy has mostly focused on the internal construction of this policy, as a mode of « external governance », or on the role of « securitization » in this process.

However, developments in the theories of international relations have insisted on the study of actors’ practices and ideas. European studies have also highlighted the role of the actors making European policies. Moreover, studies of national migration policies “in the making” have contributed to a revitalization of social sciences in the field of migration studies. This work has showed the fundamental role played by administrative actors at various policy-levels and stages.

Several authors have focused on the genesis and development of European migration policies and the role of specific administrative actors (Guiraudon, 2000, 2003). However, besides some rare work on specific cases (Bigo and Guild 2003; Boswell 2003, 2008), very little has been said about the practices and discourses of European actors, rather than a generic “European Union’s discourse” (Pécoud and Geiger 2010). Although relations with third countries on issues of migration have been examined (Lavenex and Uçarer 2002, 2004; Cassarino 2007, 2010), little has been written about the role of interactions with external actors in the shaping of the EU practices and discourses. Approaching external policies from the periphery – the geographical and political margins of the European Union – will therefore bring new light to the study of these policies.

This session seeks to examine the idea of European external migration policy. By observing from the margins the diversity of practices, the papers will analyze the various shapes of European external migration policies. Based on a diversity of fieldwork, these papers will seek to answer the following questions: What kind of European and national actors create, negotiate and implement these policies? What institutional logics and conflicts are they part of? How do these logics and conflicts influence their perceptions and discourses? What strategies are external actors developing?

Virginie Florence Guiraudon
Christina Boswell
The European Union and International Migration Governance in Central Asia
Oleg Korneev, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies / European University Institute
The making of EU external border control
Julien Jeandesboz, Unievrsity of Amsterdam; Polly Pallister-Wilkins, University of Amsterdam
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