Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law
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Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law

Edited by Gareth Davies and Matej Avbelj

The Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law explores the diversity of phenomenon of overlapping legal systems within the European Union, the nature of their interactions, and how they deal with the difficult question of the legal hierarchy between them. The contributors reflect on the history, sociology and legal scholarship on constitutional and legal pluralism, and develop this further in the light of the challenges currently facing the EU.
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Chapter 21: Legal pluralism in the European regulation of border control: disassembling, diffusing, and legalizing the power to exclude

Galina Cornelisse


This chapter looks at EU immigration law in order to make sense of the nature of political authority in contemporary Europe. It is argued that the transnational regulation of border control shows a diffuse picture of political authority: European integration in this area has led to the supranationalisation and ‘super-territorialisation’ of national executive discretion, coupled with the constitutionalisation or juridification of the exercise of migration control at the national level. Looking at EU migration law through the lens of legal pluralism is interesting because it allows us to see how sovereign power is regularly and habitually enacted in a context where its very essence may be at stake, but in much more implicit and subtle ways than can be captured in the language of conflicting plausible claims to ultimate legal authority.

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