Messina, Anthony M. and Thouez, Colleen V. (1999) “Controlling Borders: The Logics and Politics of a European Immigration Regime”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)
It is hardly surprising that the subject of immigration within the context of the European Union’s expanding public policy agenda has attracted the attention of a growing number of scholars. Within their burgeoning scholarship a central question is often explicitly or implicitly posed: Why are West European states reluctant to forge and implement a common and comprehensive immigration policy regime? Or to put the issue into sharper focus: in light of their transparent and intractable failure to control effectively their respective national borders, why don’t West European states do more to harmonize or communitarize their immigration policies? The intellectual starting point of this paper is that these questions, while pertinent, neglect the most obvious puzzle that is raised by the immigration-related policy initiatives that have been forged at the intergovernmental and supranational levels since the mid 1980s. Indeed, they neglect a very important puzzle that necessarily stands these questions on their respective heads. Thus, the important question guiding this paper is not why West European states have hesitated to harmonize their immigration policies, but rather, why they have chosen to cooperate in this policy area. From both a theoretical and analytical vantage point, the core issue is why they cooperate at all.
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