Implementing migration policies

New research puzzles in a Europeanizing context

Authored by: Nora Dörrenbächer , Tineke Strik

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:


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This chapter reviews the literature on the implementations of migration law in Europe. The review shows that there has been a newly emerging research interest into the activities of migration bureaucracies. This multidisciplinary literature has emphasized particularly the individual-level dilemmas of migration officials at the frontline of implementation. Less attention is paid to cross-country differences and European particularities. The chapter argues that while European migration laws and European jurisprudence gradually constrain the discretion of domestic policy makers, in the daily practice of national migration offices, European laws can create new discretion that preserves individual and cross-country implementation variation. Building on these observations, the chapter ends with a research agenda, highlighting new puzzles and opportunities for studying migration law implementation in Europe.

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