Online Edited Publications
Preliminary title: Fences, Refugee Boats, and the New Borderlands: Making Sense of the European Union’s Emerging Internal and External Borders
BordEUr documents the proliferation of new borders in the aftermath of the EU’s recent crises, with a special emphasis on the so-called migration crisis. Such redefinition of borders will be explored both in its narrative and practice (policy) components in the form of a case-study-based online, open-access publication.
We claim that the rebordering narratives and practices triggered by the migrant crisis (and migration management afterwards) should be understood in the context of the ontological insecurity (the insecurity of the Self) experience by the Union: the crises experienced in the last two decades have led the EU to fear for its own existence and have challenged its identity and legitimating narratives. The response, particularly in relation to migration, has been a shift towards securitized narratives (yet combined with a humanitarian narrative) and re-bordering practices. The latter have consisted both in (i) reinforcing (already existent internal and external borders and in (ii) externalizing border controls (through agreements with third countries).
All such processes (securitized narrative of the EU, securitized borders and externalization of borders control) have implication not only for the EU and its citizens, but also for third countries that, for instance, are requested to assume responsibilities in EU migration management. Moreover, such processes, triggered by EU’s sense of ontological insecurity, can generate a sense of ontological insecurity in third countries.
Contributions to the online volume aim to respond to the following set of questions:
- What re-bordering practices and narratives can be identified in the selected countries?
- How have narratives and practices interacted?
- In such a bordering process, what has been the role of the country/countries analyzed and of its/her ontological security concerns? Have third countries simply implemented EU’s requested or have they showed independent agency?
- What are the implications of re-bordering practices of the EU as an international actor
- Has Covid_19 made any difference and how?
As an exploration of emergent borders, bordering practices, and bordering discourses, BordEUr’s research design is inductively constructed. Our research activities will mainly targeted at the writing of country case studies, which will in turn form the content of the e-publication and the background material for the policy paper. Framed by the above set of questions, the case studies analyzed will present multifaceted approaches towards the process of border control externalization through the lens of the aforementioned countries. The UK case will investigate the process through which the UK’s borders are being re-established in opposition to the integration process as the country prepares to leave the EU. We approach Hungary and Austria as member states of the Schengen Zone that are renegotiating their borders within the Zone, which is counter to the idea of a borderless Europe. Hungary then leads us further towards investigating the meaning of borders at the edge of the Schengen Zone by looking at three cases in the Mediterranean: Spain, Italy and Greece. Greece and Italy have been the original entry points into the EU for migrants and refugees, and both states are still heavily affected by migration. Meanwhile, Spain and Italy are active proponents of border control externalization towards North Africa, where the EU is relying on contentious policy tools to curtail the influx of people through the Mediterranean Sea. New borderlands, like the ones in Northern Africa, are also emerging in the Balkans and in Turkey. Therefore, our case studies on Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey will offer a comparative take on how the EU is policing its own internal borders between Schengen and non-Schengen states (Greece-Bulgaria, Greece-Rep. of Macedonia, Greece-Turkey), as well as between member states and third states that aspire—at least rhetorically—for membership (North Macedonia and Turkey). Our research design enables us to go beyond bordering practices in these case studies and investigate what meaning is being assigned to new and emergent borders both on the national and on the European level.
Readers of this edited volume will benefit from access to up-to-date, scientific findings on a key issue of EU politics. The case study method facilitates an in-depth analysis of a wider phenomenon, while the edited book format situates these in the context of European Studies and Migration Studies. By bringing together researchers from multiple disciplines, under a shared conceptual framework, the publication will offer both empirical and conceptual contributions to the study of European politics.