Irregular Migration and Three Contradictions of Neoliberal Neofunctionalism

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
Harald Köpping Athanasopoulos , EU-Asia Institute, ESSCA
The purpose of this paper is to show how the migration crisis is exemplary of the inherently contradictory nature of contemporary European integration. The first part of this paper outlines and frames the refugee crisis as a critical case study of European integration. The social purpose of the contemporary EU can be understood through the character of migration management. The second part explains how the contemporary European integration process is underpinned by neoliberalism and neofunctionalism. Neofunctionalism is not only a theory of European integration, but a vulgar version of it has historically been used to justify the 'inevitability' of a particular path of European integration. The third part finally outlines three simultaneous yet contradictory phenomena of contemporary European integration which become visible in the area of migration management, and which are arguably the result of the particular combination of neofunctionalism and neoliberalism: nationalism, biopolitics and the intra-European core-periphery divide. Given the discursive links between nationalism and neoliberalism, the former is a likely candidate to replace the latter, which in turn threatens the very fabric of the European Union.
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