Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Making light of borders: The case of the external EU border

Bastian A. Vollmer

Abstract


The notion of borders will be questioned in this paper by depicting an ethnographic journey from which a counter-discourse emerged, a discourse that contradicts with the currently acknowledged discourses of borders. Border dis-courses are dominated by security and threat, by the meaning of the bulwark that surrounds nation states in physical, legal, political and ideational terms. Scholars have examined borders from various different perspectives and within the framework of different disciplines; academic discourses have emerged over the years (such as on securitisation), while national governments across the globe as well as the European Union (EU) attempted to seal their permeable borders. They have introduced ever more legal obstacles and enforcement measures to put their goal into practice: preserving sovereignty. The commonly acknowledged discourses on borders will not be challenged per se in its exist-ence, but empirical data will be used to demonstrate a different account of the notion of borders. This account makes light of the notion of borders as travellers followed their everyday business and dealt with the bulwark of the EU, the EU external border, with ease and amusement.

Keywords


border discourses; counter-discourse; securitization; EU external border; ethnographic journey

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adey, P. (2004). Secured and Sorted Mobilities: Examples from the Airport. Surveillance and Society, 1 (4): 500-19.

Agamben, G. (1998). Homo Sacer: Sovereignty Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Andreas, P. (2003). Redrawing the Line: Borders and Security in the Twenty-First Century. International Security, 28 (2): 78-111.

Andreas, P. and Biersteker, T. (eds.) (2003). The Rebordering of North America, New York: Routledge.

Andreas, P. and Snyder, T. (eds.) (2000). The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in North America and Europe. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Barry, A., Osborne, T. and Rose, N.S. (eds.) (1996). Foucault and Political Reason: Liber-alism, Neo-Liberalism, and Rationalities of Government. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bigo, D. (2002). Security and Immigration: Toward a Critique of the Governmentality of Unease. Alternatives, 27 (1): 63-92.

Bigo, D. (2000). When Two Become One: Internal and External Securitisations in Europe. In: M. Kelstrup and M.C. Williams (eds.) International Relations Theory and the Politics of European Integration, London: Routledge.

Council of Ministers (1997). Council Resolution of 4 December 1997 on measures to be adopted on the combating of marriages of convenience. Official Journal C 382, 16/12/1997.

Dean, M. (1999). Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society. London: Sage.

Denzin, N. (1997). Interpretive Ethnography: Ethnographic Practices for the 21st Century. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Denzin, N. and Lincoln, Y. (eds.) (1998). The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Digruber, D. and Messinger, I. (2006). Marriage of Residence in Austria. European Journal of Migration and Law, 8 (3-4): 281-302.

Düvell, F. (ed) (2006a). Illegal Immigration in Europe: Beyond Control? Houndmills: Palgrave/Macmillan.

Düvell, F. and Vollmer, B. (2011). Improving EU and US Immigration System's Capacity for responding to Global Challenges: Learning from Experiences: European Security Challenges. Florence and Washington: European University Institute/Migration Policy Institute.

European Commission (2008). Examining the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR). Communication form the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Re-gions. COM (2008) 68 final, Brussels, 13.02.2008.

Foblets, M-C. and Vanheule, D. (2006). Marriages of Convenience in Belgium: the Punitive Approach gains Ground in Migration Law. European Journal of Migration and Law, 8 (3-4): 263-280.

Foucault, M. (1990). The History of Sexuality vol. 1. New York: Vintage.

Foucault, M. (1991). Questions of Method. In: G. Burchell, C. Gordon, and P. Miller (eds.) The Foucault Effect, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Frontex (2010). Frontex within integrated Border management concept - Structural approach in planning capability, presentation at EDA annual conference. Available at: www.eda.europa.eu/WebUtils/downloadfile.aspx?FileID=855 www.eda.europa.eu/WebUtils/downloadfile.aspx?FileID=855

Guiraudon, V. (2003). Before the EU Border: Remote Control of the “Huddled Masses”. In: K. Groenendijk, E. Guild and P. Minderhoud (eds.) In Search of Europe's Borders, The Hague: Kluwer.

Guiraudon, V. and Lahav, G. (2000). Comparative Perspectives on Border Control: Away from the Border and Outside the State. In: P. Andreas and T. Snyder (eds) The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in North America and Europe, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Geertz, C. (1973). The Interpretation of Cultures. |New York: Basic.

Khosravi, S. (2010). ‘Illegal’ Traveller: An Auto-Ethnography of Borders. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Konstantinov, Y. (1996). Patterns of reinterpretation: trader-tourism in the Balkans (Bulgaria) as a picaresque metaphorical enactment of post-totalitarianism. American Ethnologist, 23 (4): 762-782.

Konstantinov, Y. (1994). Hunting for gaps through boundaries: Gypsy tactics for economic survival in the context of the second phase of the post-totalitarian changes in Bulgaria. The European Journal for Social Sciences, 7 (4): 237-248.

Ledeneva, A.V. (1998). Russia's economy of favours. Blat, networking and informal exchange. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lutterbeck, D. (2006). Policing Migration in the Mediterranean. Mediterranean Politics, 11 (1): 59-82.

Malkki, L. (1992). National Geographic: The Rooting of Peoples and the Territorialization of National Identity among Scholars and Refugees. Cultural Anthropology, 7 (1): 24-44.

Mbembe, A. (2003). Necropolitics. Public Culture, 15(1): 11-40.

Mignolo, W.D. and Tlostanova, M. V. (2006). Theorizing from the Borders: Shifting to Geo- and Body-Politics of Knowledge. European Journal of Social Theory, 9 (2): 205-221.

Neal, A.W. (2009). Securitization and Risk at the EU Border: The Origins of FRON-TEX. Journal of Common Market Studies, 47 (2): 333-356.

Phillips, A. and Dustin, M. (2004). UK Initiatives on Forced Marriage: Regulation, Dialogue and Exit. Political Studies, 52: 531-551.

Rose, N. (1999). Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Salter, M. (2004). Passport, Mobility, and Security: How smart can the border be? International Studies Perspectives, 5(1): 71-91.

Salter, M. (2003). Rights of Passage: The Passport in International Relations. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.

Sassen, S. (2007). A Sociology of Globalization. New York: W.W. Norton

Sassen, S. (2006). Territory, Authority, Rights. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Thuen, T. (2002). The Significance of Borders in the East European Transition. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 23 (4): 738-750.

UNITED (2011). List of 14037 documented refugee deaths through Fortress Europe. Available at: www.unitedagainstracism.org, accessed 10/3/2011. www.unitedagainstracism.org

van der Ploeg, I. (1999). The Illegal Body: “Eurodac” and the Politics of Biometric Identification. Ethics and Information Technology, 1: 295-302.

Vidich, A. and S. Lyman (1998), Qualitative methods: their history in sociology and anthropology. In: N. Denzin and Y. Lincoln (eds.) The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Vollmer, B. (2010). Policy Discourses on Irregular Migration in Germany and the United Kingdom - 1973-1999. PhD thesis. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam.

Walters, W. (2006). Border/Control. European Journal of Social Theory, 9 (2): 187-203.

Willis, P. and M. Trondman (2000). Manifesto for Ethnography. Ethnography, 1 (1): 5-16.

Wray, H. (2006). “An Ideal Husband? Marriages of Convenience, Moral Gate-keeping and Immigration to the UK”, European Journal of Migration and Law, 8 (3-4): 303-320.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Transnational Press London

Copyright © 2003-2016 Migration Letters / Transnational Press London | All rights reserved | Contact Us
TRANSNATIONAL PRESS LONDON LTD. IS A COMPANY REGISTERED IN ENGLAND AND WALES No. 8771684.