Issue 2(2) of the journal movements focuses on two facets of European migration and border regimes that are rarely analysed concomitantly: the governance of EU citizens’ migration within the European Union, and that of migration movements into the EU.
Since the beginnings of European integration, freedom of movement – first for workers and later for all ‘Union citizens’ – has both constituted one of its political cornerstones, and a promise of liberty. However, at least since the debate on so-called ‘poverty immigration’ in 2013, a racist consensus dominates public discourses for example in Germany and the UK. It hinges on the assumption that although a great number of highly qualified ‘top performers’ make use of free movement within the EU, an ‘unimpeded influx’ of people with less formal education threatens the national populations of the core countries.
This post-liberal consensus obscures the fact that the agitation against allegedly ‘unqualified’ migrants is characterised by racist logics, for example in the form of anti-Roma racism. While these groups are welcomed by parts of the economy as cheap labour, they are simultaneously disenfranchised. Pertinent examples of such exclusionary processes are the recent restrictions of basic rights that guarantee a minimum subsistence level. For instance, the British Prime Minister David Cameron makes Britain’s continued membership in the EU conditional on limiting social rights for EU citizens in the UK. Similarly, the European Court of Justice legitimised the German practice of withholding social benefits from EU citizens in summer 2015. While protests against these developments have not been very visible so far, struggles by EU migrants lately managed to gain increasing public attention. The labour dispute at the ‘Mall of Berlin’ in 2014/2015 is an excellent case in point.
What currently attracts more attention, however, are the persistent movements into EUrope, alternately referred to as ‘refugee crisis’ or ‘Summer of Migration’. Last year, these movements severely shook up EUrope’s external borders. In late summer 2015, several governments decided to give way to the movements of migration and provided transportation services to hundreds of thousands of people. During autumn and winter 2015/2016, they gradually revoked this partial opening of the borders: Hungary closed its south-western borders; Bulgaria extended its existing fence; at the Greek-Macedonian border, border guards started to select migrants by resorting to logics of racial profiling; Germany introduced controls on the border with Austria. In many places, protests against these border closures took place.
With movements 2(2) we want to analyse both facets: current struggles over the EUropean asylum and border regime as well as the transformations of EU freedom of movement, EU citizenship, and struggles in the context of EU-internal migration. In addition to articles focusing on the individual sub-fields, we especially welcome contributions that analytically link these facets of European migration and border regimes, which are often thought in separation. Thinking through their connections instead would open up new perspectives on the continuities and accelerating changes in European migration and border policies.
In particular, we propose a number of questions that focus on the relationship of current attempts to govern migration with racist conjunctures and capitalist dynamics:
- Which modes of governance characterise or influence the political responses to the current movements of migration to and through EUrope? Which significance, for example, have discourses around an alleged ‘loss of control’ within the conflicts over the restriction of rights and mobility? How does this ‘state of exception’ manifest itself in the two sub-regimes?
- What role do different racist logics and capitalist utilitarianism play in the context of the uneven categorisation of people into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ migrants? Examples of these categories include ‘refugees in need of protection’ that are distinguished from ‘economic refugees’, or allegedly useful ‘labour migrants’ that are separated from so-called ‘welfare tourists’. How are these new and old racisms and capitalist tactics articulated in concrete practices and conflicts?
- How can these dynamics of migration and racism be connected to shifting social and political power relations, and the current conjuncture of capitalism?
- In what way are the EUropean migration and border regimes renationalised or dismantled on the one hand, and strengthened and further EUropeanised on the other? How can changes in relation to the Dublin regime, the externalisation of borders or the social rights of EU citizens be analysed against this background?
- Which actors are involved in these conflicts and struggles of migration, and which practices and (resistant) subjectivities emerge?
We are looking forward to receive abstracts of no more than 500 words by March 6, 2016. We welcome abstracts for all the different formats of movements: academic articles, political interventions in essay format, research reports as well as interviews and book reviews. We also seek contributions from activists and political movements. The final contributions will have 20.000 to 40.000 characters and can be written in German or English (please get in touch for further languages). The final contributions are due by June 19, 2016.
All submissions will pass through a collaborative review process conducted by the editorial board. Academic articles are reviewed additionally by at least two anonymous experts. In any case, the editorial team will discuss comments and suggestions with the authors in a transparent process. Final decisions on the acceptance of contributions are made by the board. The issue will be published in December 2016.