While crises can be seen as drivers of policy and institutional developments, this chapter shows that it is actually understandings of ‘normality’ and what is ‘normal’ that have been key drivers of EU migration governance. By focusing on how organisations frame and make sense of international migration, the chapter shows that understandings of normality often centre on the potential for large-scale and potentially destabilising migration to the EU. The chapter then charts how these particular understandings and their effects of normality have played a powerfully constitutive role in European Union migration governance since the late 1980s and framed responses to the post-2014 ‘migration crisis’ that centred on boat arrivals across the Mediterranean.
This chapter surveys the governance of migration in Europe and efforts to deal with the fragmentation that is an inherent feature of a policy field that includes very different types of migration as well as differing institutional contexts for the management of migration in European countries. To assess the causes and effects of fragmentation, the chapter asks three questions. First, how can the relationship between migration and governance be conceptualized? Second, how can governance be defined and this definition applied to European migration governance? Third, what is the relationship between the post-2012 migration/refugee crisis and European migration governance? To address these questions, the chapter pays close attention to the understandings of migration held by élite actors within European migration governance systems. It is argued that these understandings – and the factors that influence them – can act as powerful drivers of migration governance in Europe.
Andrew Geddes and Leila Hadj-Abdou
Andrew Geddes and Oleg Korneev
Andrew Geddes, Marcia Vera Espinoza, Leila Hadj Abdou and Leiza Brumat
This chapter surveys the book’s three theoretical debates: regions and regionalism; international migration; and governance. It looks at each in turn and pays close attention to the ways in which it is governance systems themselves – through their organisational modes and practices as well as the ideas that animate them – that can play a key role in defining the migration challenge and its regional dimension. This means ascribing a direct role to governance systems and not seeing them as passive recipients of various forms of international migration to which they must then respond. The chapter then outlines the various contributions to the book as they develop these analytical themes and explore the dynamics of regional migration governance in highly diverse settings.
Andrew Geddes, Leila Hadj Abdou, Marcia Vera Espinoza and Leiza Brumat
This concluding chapter identifies four of the book’s key themes: how regional governance systems themselves play a key role in defining the migration challenge; how proximity and interdependence can but do not necessarily lead to closer cooperation; how regional migration governance is not simply a ‘space’ for new governance practices but actually embodies and reflects core political tensions around migration issues; and how regional migration governance demonstrates both the limits and possibilities of global cooperation on migration.