Table of Contents

Migration and Mobility in Europe

Migration and Mobility in Europe

Trends, Patterns and Control

Edited by Heinz Fassmann, Max Haller and David Lane

The enlargement of the European Union has had an enormous impact on migration within Europe. This book addresses the form of these effects, outlining the social, political and economic problems created by the free movement of people within the European Union.

Chapter 13: The Future of Border Control: Risk Management of Migration in the UK

James Hampshire

Subjects: development studies, migration, geography, human geography, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, migration, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, migration


James Hampshire INTRODUCTION: RISK AND THE MIGRATION STATE 13.1 Like most other advanced capitalist economies, the UK has developed into what James F. Hollifield calls a ‘migration state’ (Hollifield 2004). Migration states seek competitive advantage by opening their economies and societies to international migration, but at the same time they must also accommodate powerful political forces that drive them towards closure. Faced with these conflicting dynamics, migration states seek to manage migration in their interests by encouraging or ‘soliciting’ some flows, while preventing or ‘stemming’ others (Joppke 2002). As migration states increasingly seek to discriminate between migration flows, and also balance the costs and benefits of migration, new policy instruments and organizational forms are emerging. In the UK, an important recent development is the reconceptualization of migration in terms of risk, and the reorganization of migration management as a form of risk management. This reconceptualization is multi-faceted. On the one hand, across migration states, immigration is often portrayed as posing negative risks. This is risk as threat – threat of terrorism, crime, social disorder, cultural anxiety, public health and so on. While the intensity of these associations may have increased – especially the security and terrorism associations since 9/11 – the fears and antipathies that underlie them are hardly new. Indeed, the history of migration is replete with claims about the ‘immigrant threat’ (Lucassen 2005). If it were just a case of redescribing these threats using the language of risk then one might be forgiven for doubting whether the idea of ‘migration risks’...

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