Border politics and policy in today’s Europe

Thursday 29 November 2018, 6.45pm
Venue: Institut français d’Ecosse, West Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF
Free admission : 0131 225 53 66 or
As part of The Fabric of Citizenship seminar series


Since 2015, migration has become high politics and topped the agenda of EU summits, exacerbated tensions between member states and is considered to be emblematic of the “crisis of Europe.” In the UK, the 2016 referendum also focused on migrants although the UK was never a member of Schengen and has shifted its land and maritime border in Northern France since the 2003 Touquet agreement.
These debates are often framed in Manichean terms: bona fide refugees vs. “economic migrants,” security vs. humanitarian concerns, identity politics vs utilitarian logics. Yet it may be important to analyse EU border policy in medias res. How does it work (or not)? Who is really in charge? One entry point to answer this question is the study of the actual sites where migrants are on hold, in the big European waiting room: “hotspots” in Italy and Greece, and encampments near borders such as Calais.

About the speakers

Virginie Guiraudon (PhD, 1997, Harvard) is CNRS Director of Research at the Sciences Po Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics in Paris. She studies EU policy processes, in particular the emergence of a EU immigration, asylum, external borders policy domain as well as EU antidiscrimination laws. She is the recipient of the 2013 Mattei Dogan prize in European Political Sociology and coedited the volume Europe’s Prolonged Crisis. The making and Unmaking of a Political Union (Palgrave, 2015). In June 2018, with several hundred colleagues, she launched a call for an International Panel on Migration and Asylum.

Christina Boswell is Professor of Politics and Dean of Research at the University of Edinburgh. Her research explores the role of knowledge in public policy, and comparative UK and European immigration policies. She has lately published ‘Manufacturing Political Trust: Targets and Performance Measurement in Public Policy’ (Cambridge University Press, 2012. Christina has provided consultancy and policy advice to various international organisations and government departments and currently chairs the Scottish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Working Group on Immigration and Diversity.

Admission free
Please book in advance: 0131 225 53 66 or

Published on 25/01/2019

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