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"The devolution of immigration regimes in Europe"

Lahav, Gallya and Guiraudon, Virginie. (1997) "The devolution of immigration regimes in Europe". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)

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    The ability of European nation-states to control migration and regulate the entry and stay of migrant workers, family members, asylum-seekers and undocumented aliens have been at the forefront of the immigration debate. Some scholars have argued that international human rights and the freedom of circulation required by a global economy and regional markets are the two sides of a liberal regime that undermine the sovereignty of nation-states in this policy area. Others have declared the double closure of territorial sovereignty and national citizenship to be outmoded concepts. This paper inscribes itself in that debate by answering the following questions: 1) To what extent do international legal instruments constrain the actions of national policy-makers?; 2) How have nation-states reacted to international constraints and problems of policy implementation? We focus on European Union and Council of Europe jurisdictions as a critical case of international legal constraints. We examine their jurisprudence with respect to rights of entry and residence and the extent to which national courts have incorporated European norms and European governments take them into account. Focusing on Germany, France, and the Netherlands with comparative reference to the U.S. case, the paper examines ways national policy-makers have responded over the last fifteen years, since the adoption of the Single European Act, and the outset of global economic recession. In evaluating state responses, the paper identifies the devolution of decision-making in monitoring and executive powers upwards to intergovernmental fora, downwards to local authorities (through decentralization), and outwards to non-state actors (in particular, private companies). We argue that this devolution of policy elaboration and implementation is not so much a sign that states are losing control and giving away sovereignty, than an experiment in which principals (nation states) involve agents (supranational, local, private non-state actors) as part of rational calculated attempts to diminish costs. We then assess the extent states have been able to recapture control over migration flows in this way. Finally, we draw upon the case of European migration control to highlight the dynamics of European integration and cooperation.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJCC/AFSJ > immigration policy
    Other international institutions > Council of Europe
    Countries > France
    Countries > Netherlands
    Countries > Germany
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1997 (5th), May 29-June 1, 1997
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2006
    Page Range: p. 42
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:23

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