Politics of irregular migration in Europe

Moving beyond an EU-driven research agenda

Authored by: Lyubov Zhyznomirska

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315512853-20

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Abstract

This chapter examines how politics of irregular migration in Europe has been conceptualised and theorised in the field of European migration studies. Largely, knowledge creation about irregular migration in Europe has been driven by policy priorities of the receiving, mainly ‘western’ states. Politically, irregular migration has been framed as the outcome of the state losing control over borders and linked to cultural and economic security of the nations. European governments’ concerns with unauthorised arrivals of foreigners have caused the characterisation of migration flows mainly in their relations to the European Union, creating categories of ‘transit countries’ and of ‘transit irregular migration’. The policy-embedded analysis of irregular migration as a problem to be solved or managed has been dominant. However, in the late 2000s, some scholars have started examining irregular migration as a research problem and theorising it as a structural phenomenon of the European capitalist economies. This chapter reviews this literature and calls for a less politicised examination of the irregular migration in wider Europe.

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