Project

Back to overview

Contested control at the margins of the state: Government responses to irregular migration in the Schengen area

English title Contested control at the margins of the state: Government responses to irregular migration in the Schengen area
Applicant Joppke Christian
Number 153225
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Soziologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Sociology
Start/End 01.09.2014 - 31.08.2018
Approved amount 282'400.00
Show all

All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Sociology
Legal sciences
Ethnology
Political science
Social geography and ecology

Keywords (10)

Germany; Migration; Irregular Migration; Immigration Policy; Local Migration; Switzerland; Deportation; Comparative Politics; Sweden; Italy

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Trotz zunehmend ausgereifteren Grenzkontrollen der „Festung Europa“ findet unerlaubte Einwanderung weiterhin statt. Staaten bauen beständig neue Einreisehindernisse auf, und irregulär Einwandernde reagieren auf diese, in dem sie neue und aufwendigere Strategien entwickeln, um dennoch Europa zu erreichen. Ziel dieses Forschungsprojekt ist es, die sich verändernden staatlichen Kontrollversuche vergleichend zu untersuchen.
Lay summary

Das Projekt analysiert, wie Akteure des Staats gegen die unerwünschte Durchlässigkeit der Aussengrenzen angehen und so versuchen, die territoriale Integrität des Staates wiederherzustellen. Der Fokus liegt dabei auf der Aufspürung, Identifikation und Ausschaffung von Einwandernden, die bereits erfolgreich die Aussengrenze der Schengenzone überschritten haben. Unsere Grundannahme ist dabei, dass Migrationspolitik zwar von einer komplett kontrollierbaren Bevölkerung ausgeht, ihre Anwender sich aber der Unzulänglichkeiten derselben bewusst sind und versuchen, darauf zu reagieren.

Um dieses Phänomen vergleichend zu untersuchen, werden Kontrollaktivitäten in vier verschiedenen Mitgliedsstaaten der Schengener Übereinkommen – Italien, Schweiz, Deutschland und Schweden – beforscht. Durch ethnographische Feldstudien lokaler öffentlicher Behörden sollen die konkreten Versuche des Aufspürens, Identifizierens, Einsperrens und Entfernens unerlaubt Eingewanderter – und ihr Scheitern – analysiert werden. Zu dieser untersten Stufe von Migrationsverwaltung gibt es bisher fast keine sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Da unerlaubte Einwanderung ein in der Öffentlichkeit stark diskutiertes Thema ist, es zu staatlichen Kontrollpraktiken aber bisher nur wenige Studien gibt, kann dieses Projekt einen relevanten Beitrag zur Debatte über den Umgang mit irregulärer Migration leisten. Daneben trägt es zum interdisziplinären Feld der Migrationsforschung bei.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 12.06.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Migrants Before the LawContested Migration Control in Europe
Eule Tobias G., Borrelli Lisa Marie, Lindberg Annika, Wyss Anna (2019), Migrants Before the LawContested Migration Control in Europe, Palgrave Mac, Cham.
Nordic Nationalism and Penal Order: Walling the Welfare State by Vanessa Barker. 2018. Routlegde: Abingdon. Reviewed in: LSE Review of Books.
BorrelliLisa Marie (2018), Nordic Nationalism and Penal Order: Walling the Welfare State by Vanessa Barker. 2018. Routlegde: Abingdon. Reviewed in: LSE Review of Books., in LSE Review of Books, 1.
Fassin, Didier (ed.) 2017. If truth be told: the politics of public ethnography. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 358 pp. Pb.: £20.99. ISBN: 9780822369776.
Lindberg Annika (2018), Fassin, Didier (ed.) 2017. If truth be told: the politics of public ethnography. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 358 pp. Pb.: £20.99. ISBN: 9780822369776., in Social Anthropology, 26(3), 430-431.
Whisper down, up and between the lanes: Exclusionary policies and their limits of control in times of irregularized migration
Borrelli Lisa M. (2018), Whisper down, up and between the lanes: Exclusionary policies and their limits of control in times of irregularized migration, in Public Administration, 1-14.
The creativity of coping: alternative tales of moral dilemmas among migration control officers
Borrelli Lisa Marie, Lindberg Annika (2018), The creativity of coping: alternative tales of moral dilemmas among migration control officers, in International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 4(3), 163-163.
Zur Anwendung von Recht in Migrationsbehörden
EuleTobias G., BorrelliLisa M. (2018), Zur Anwendung von Recht in Migrationsbehörden, in terra cognita, 32(Spring), 22.
Die Soziale Integration von Flüchtlingen
EuleTobias G. (2017), Die Soziale Integration von Flüchtlingen, in AsylNews, 2017(4), 12.
Contested control at the margins of the state
Eule Tobias G., Loher David, Wyss Anna (2017), Contested control at the margins of the state, in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(16), 2717-2729.
The (surprising?) nonchalance of migration control agents
Eule Tobias G. (2017), The (surprising?) nonchalance of migration control agents, in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(16), 2780-2795.
Ausländerbehörden im dynamischen Feld der Migrationssteuerung
EuleTobias G. (2016), Ausländerbehörden im dynamischen Feld der Migrationssteuerung, in Schneider Stephanie, Lahusen Christian (ed.), Transkript Verlag, Berlin, 175-194.
Civic integration in Europe: continuity versus discontinuity
JoppkeChristian, EuleTobias G. (2016), Civic integration in Europe: continuity versus discontinuity, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, 343-361.
Willkommenskultur auf dem Prüfstand: Schweizer und Deutsche Ansätze im Vergleich
EuleTobias G. (2016), Willkommenskultur auf dem Prüfstand: Schweizer und Deutsche Ansätze im Vergleich, in Widmer Erik, Franzen Axel, Jann Ben, Joppke Christian (ed.), Seismo, Zürich, 34.
Anthropology and Public service. The UK Experience by Jeremy MacClancy (ed.). 2017. Oxford. New York: Berghahn Books.
BorrelliLisa Marie, Anthropology and Public service. The UK Experience by Jeremy MacClancy (ed.). 2017. Oxford. New York: Berghahn Books., in Social Anthropology.
Challenging Landscapes of Confinement
LindbergAnnika, Challenging Landscapes of Confinement, in Transfers, n.d..
Researching Organizational Imbrications and Interstices: A qualitative gaze on how mundane public administration work
Bjerge Bagga, Elmholdt Kasper, Eule Tobias G., Researching Organizational Imbrications and Interstices: A qualitative gaze on how mundane public administration work, in Qualitative Studies, 5(2), 1.
Using Ignorance as (Un)Conscious bureaucratic Strategy: Street-Level Practices and structural Influences in the Field of Migration Enforcement
BorrelliLisa Marie, Using Ignorance as (Un)Conscious bureaucratic Strategy: Street-Level Practices and structural Influences in the Field of Migration Enforcement, in Qualitative Studies.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Projekts 140445 and 149360, Prof. Julia Eckert und KollegInnen Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
148940 Doc.CH Anna Wyss Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
8e Journées des Doctorant-e-s organisées par le Centre de droit des migrations (CDM) Talk given at a conference ‘Illegibility in the Migration Regime. An extract of: Migrants before the Law. Contested Migration Control in Europe’ 08.11.2018 Muntelier-Löwenberg, Switzerland Eule Tobias Georg; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
„Abschaffung des Rechts?“ Vierter Kongress der deutschsprachigen Rechtssoziologie-Vereinigung, Panel: Aktuelle Ansätze der Justizforschung: Moral, Emotion, Aktivismus Talk given at a conference ‘Zwischen Diskursdruck und Gleichgültigkeit? Migrationsrechtliche Entscheidungen in schwedischen Strafgerichten‘ 13.09.2018 Basel, Switzerland Borrelli Lisa Marie;
12th Pan-European Conference on International Relations: "A New Hope: Back to the Future of International Relations", Panel: Refugee Governance in Europe and the Region: Making Sense of ‘No-Policy-Policies’ and Violent Inaction Talk given at a conference 'Using Ignorance as (Un)Conscious bureaucratic Strategy: Street-Level Practices and structural Influences in the Field of Migration Enforcement’ 12.09.2018 Prague, Czech Republic Borrelli Lisa Marie;
European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), Biannual Conference ‘Staying, Moving, Settling’ Talk given at a conference ‘Being like a snake’ - Street-level bureaucrats’ Conceptions of Law in European Migration Enforcement 14.08.2018 Stockholm , Sweden Borrelli Lisa Marie;
International Summer School "Cultures, Migra4ons, Borders" Talk given at a conference ‘Being like a snake’ - Street-level bureaucrats’ Conceptions of Law in European Migration Enforcement 03.07.2018 Plomari, Lesvos, Greece Borrelli Lisa Marie;
Utrecht International Migration Conference - EU at the cross-roads of migration: Critical reflections on the ‘refugee-crisis’ and the new migration deals. Talk given at a conference I spy with my little eye something that is …’ – Secrecy as Humanitarianism or Deterrence?’ 07.05.2018 Utrecht, Netherlands Borrelli Lisa Marie;
Halle Conference on ‘Punishment – Negotiating Society’, IMPRS Retaliation, Mediation and Punishment (REMEP) at MPI for Social Anthropology Talk given at a conference The Good, the Bad and the In Between’ – Crime and the Migrant Subject in Bureaucratic Context. 14.02.2018 Halle (Saale), Germany Borrelli Lisa Marie;
AAA Talk given at a conference Enforcing symbolic order: An ethnography of exhaustion and resilience in Danish departure centres 01.12.2017 Washington DC, United States of America Lindberg Annika;
AAA 2017: Anthropology Matters! the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association. Panel: The Social Life of State Deportation Regimes: interrogating the implementation interface Talk given at a conference ‘Whisper Down the Lane – Exclusionary Policies and their Limits of Control in Context of Irregular Migration’ 29.11.2017 Washington D.C. , United States of America Borrelli Lisa Marie;
Migration, Diversity and the City - 14th IMISCOE Annual Conference, Rotterdam Talk given at a conference ‘Let the Right One In – On Government Authorities’ Resistance to Research’ 28.06.2017 Rotterdam, Netherlands Lindberg Annika; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
NCCR Graduate Conference 2017 Talk given at a conference When Are We Building a Cemetary in the Camp? Staff Tales of Administrative Surrealities in Danish IRCs”. 22.06.2017 Neuchatel, Switzerland Lindberg Annika;
IMISCOE Talk given at a conference The Rejected and the Time Thieves 17.06.2017 Rotterdam, Netherlands Lindberg Annika; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
Society for Psychological Anthropology, Biennial Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana Talk given at a conference ‘The Creativity of Coping: Alternative Tales of Moral Dilemmas among Migration Control Enforcement Officials’ 09.03.2017 New Orleans, United States of America Borrelli Lisa Marie; Lindberg Annika;
Sites of Resistance: From Local to Global, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA Talk given at a conference ‘Let the Right One In – On Government Authorities’ Resistance to Research’ 09.03.2017 New Orleans, United States of America Lindberg Annika; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association – Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination Talk given at a conference “Infringe to protect? Privacy, marriage and sexuality in European migration management” 25.08.2016 Prague, Czech Republic Eule Tobias Georg; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
18th Nordic Migration Conference on “Migration and Social Inequality: Global Perspectives – New Boundaries” Talk given at a conference ‘All Quiet on the Eastern Front? Controlling Transit Migration in Lithuania’ 11.08.2016 Oslo University, Norway Lindberg Annika; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
NCCR Conference "Changing realities of migration and mobility. A Swiss perspective" Talk given at a conference Policing Immigration: Reflections on Responsibility and the Problem of Many Hands 23.06.2016 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Lindberg Annika;
6th Ethnography & Qualitative Research Conference 2016 Talk given at a conference Managing the New Margins of Europe: Reregulation and Petty Exceptions in the Danish-Swedish Borderlands 09.06.2016 Bergamo, Italy Lindberg Annika;
Seminar, PhD Programme „Migration and Postcoloniality Meet Switzerland“ Individual talk Project Introduction, First Findings “Contested Control at the Margins of the State” 01.10.2015 Centre Muntelier-Loewenberg, Switzerland Borrelli Lisa Marie;
Seminar: New Perspectives on the Study of Decision-Making in Migration Offices Talk given at a conference “A Glimpse on Italian Migration Control – Issues on Transparency, European Cooperation and Self-Motivation” 24.09.2015 Nijmegen, Radboud University, Netherlands Borrelli Lisa Marie;
Die Versprechungen des Rechts - Dritter Kongress der deutschsprachigen Rechtssoziologie-Vereinigungen Talk given at a conference “Schutz des Privaten durch Privatsphärenverletzung? Ehe und Sexualität in Europäischer Migrationsrechtspraxis” 09.09.2015 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany Eule Tobias Georg; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
110th ASA Annual Meeting on Sexualities, Chicago Section on International Migration Talk given at a conference “Infringe to protect? Privacy, marriage and sexuality in European migration management” 22.08.2015 Chcicago, United States of America Eule Tobias Georg; Borrelli Lisa Marie;
Congress of the Swiss Sociological Association, University of Lausanne; Workshop: Family diversity and family change: implications for private and public spheres Talk given at a conference “Infringe to protect? Privacy, marriage and sexuality in European migration management” 03.06.2015 Lausanne University, Switzerland Eule Tobias Georg; Borrelli Lisa Marie;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Workshop at the international conference on Refugees, Border and Membership, MIM, Malmo University, Sweden 24.10.2018 Malmö, Sweden
Contested Migration Control in Europe 04.05.2018 University of Bern, Switzerland
IMISCOE 12th Annual Conference nccr – on the move 1st Annual Conference Rights, Democracy and Migration–Challenges and Opportunities.Workshop:New Sites,New Challenges?Ethical and Methodological Questions in the Context of Research on Migration Exclusion 25.06.2015 Geneva University, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Feedback report and meeting with the Danish Prison and Probation Service Talk 09.11.2016 Udrejsecenter Sjælsmark, Denmark


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Contested Migration Control in Europe 03.05.2018 University of Bern, Switzerland
Conference on “Research Perspectives of Migration” - Exchange and Cooperation, Police University of the Federal States of Germany 20.04.2016 Bern University, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Warum Ausländerämter mit den Abschiebungen nicht nachkommen Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Exploring the everyday of immigration detention International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Leben in der Grauzone. Sans-Papiers in der Schweiz: Das tut sich. Wendekreis, Die Zeitschrift von Commundo German-speaking Switzerland 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Let the Right One In – On Migration Authorities’ Resistance to Research International 2017
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Lithuania’s ‘Hotel’ with Special Guests Border Criminologies International 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
178384 Governing the Deportation Limbo: The Selective Control of Rejected Asylum-seekers in Denmark and Sweden 01.03.2018 Doc.Mobility
148940 Lost in Transit? Fragmented Journeys of Young Migrants with no Chance of Admission in Europe 01.10.2013 Doc.CH
172228 Ambivalent Laws, Ambivalent Emotions - Internal Border Control practices and street-level decisions on irregular migration 01.03.2017 Doc.Mobility

Abstract

Migration policies fail. Irregular migration happens despite increasingly sophisticated border control regimes, the noto-rious “Fortress Europe”. At the same time, refined control policies directly affect irregular migrants` strategies to enter a state. States, in turn, install new hurdles to be cleared, while migrants are forced to invent ever new and trickier strategies of avoiding and resisting the tightened control regimes, and so on. There is a constantly evolving field of contested control in which state authorities and migrants engage in a reciprocal cycle of discipline and resistance, law enforcement and avoidance. This research project aims to map this field, and to examine the patterns of producing and destabilising the power to reside illegally in a state.This project analyses the practices and strategies of state agencies that fight back against the unwanted “perme-ability” of state borders in order to reinstate the central parameter of territorial statehood. It focuses on the detection, identification and deportation of migrants who have successfully participated in the “border games” (Andreas: 2001) of the Schengen Area. The project is driven by two interrelated assumptions: First, irregular migrants are neither passive victims nor relentless perpetrators, but individuals who desperately try to vindicate autonomy against the odds and in the process build up capacity for realizing their life choices. Second, while policies envision a completely manageable migrant population, state agents are aware of failing and try to adapt accordingly.The research adopts a multi-sited approach, comparing control practices in four Schengen Area states (Switzer-land, Germany, Italy and Sweden). It homes in on the practices of detecting, identifying, detaining and removing irregu-lar migrants through ethnographic fieldwork in local migration offices and their frontline collaborators, such as labour inspectorates or the police. So far, there is little knowledge of the implementation of migration policies by “street-level” bureaucracy (Lipsky 1980). An in-depth approach of participant observation, informal interviewing and the gathering of grey literature should allow us to find out why migration policies fail. Possible explanations found in the literature in-clude inadequate staffing, bureaucratic inefficiency or political toleration of irregular migration. By comparing the strate-gies and control practices of control agencies within the Schengen Area, this project will be able to test the extent to which these explanations are valid and interrelate.
-