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Stemming the ‘tide’ of migrants and refugees? European visa-issuing practices in a cross-country perspective

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Abstract:

Armed conflicts and differences in global living standards generate considerable immigration pressure on Europe. Popular fears of ‘flooding’ have triggered restrictive policy responses from governments. A key strategy has been the introduction of extraterritorial control preventing migrants and asylum seekers from arriving at the border. Especially visa requirements have become widespread and are now coordinated in the EU. This paper explores the extent to which European countries vary in their application of the common visa policy, and why.

Some scholars have argued that governments by moving control ‘up’ (to the EU-level) and ‘out’ (to the consulates abroad) have managed to escape national and international human rights constraints on their migration policy. This suggests that we should see a uniform policy of preventing access for nationals from poorer and refugee-producing countries. However, another body of research have persistently identified a set of ‘liberal constraints’ on migration policies. States with strong courts, influential migrant and human rights organizations, or economies dependent on irregular labour are likely to follow a more liberal practice. This would point to considerable cross-country difference.

I test these two opposing hypotheses drawing on a large-N comparative dataset detailing the restrictiveness of visa-issuing practices of the EU/Schengen area, the United Kingdom and the United States in the period from 2005 to 2010. Using this data I show that their consular practices are highly similar. The only deviant cases are a notably more restrictive Belgium and liberal Italy. Hence, domestic differences appear to matter little in explaining extraterritorial migration control.
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Association:
Name: Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Council for European Studies
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http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p547028_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hobolth, Mogens. "Stemming the ‘tide’ of migrants and refugees? European visa-issuing practices in a cross-country perspective" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Council for European Studies, Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, MA, <Not Available>. 2014-12-12 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p547028_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hobolth, M. "Stemming the ‘tide’ of migrants and refugees? European visa-issuing practices in a cross-country perspective" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Council for European Studies, Omni Parker House Hotel, Boston, MA <Not Available>. 2014-12-12 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p547028_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Armed conflicts and differences in global living standards generate considerable immigration pressure on Europe. Popular fears of ‘flooding’ have triggered restrictive policy responses from governments. A key strategy has been the introduction of extraterritorial control preventing migrants and asylum seekers from arriving at the border. Especially visa requirements have become widespread and are now coordinated in the EU. This paper explores the extent to which European countries vary in their application of the common visa policy, and why.

Some scholars have argued that governments by moving control ‘up’ (to the EU-level) and ‘out’ (to the consulates abroad) have managed to escape national and international human rights constraints on their migration policy. This suggests that we should see a uniform policy of preventing access for nationals from poorer and refugee-producing countries. However, another body of research have persistently identified a set of ‘liberal constraints’ on migration policies. States with strong courts, influential migrant and human rights organizations, or economies dependent on irregular labour are likely to follow a more liberal practice. This would point to considerable cross-country difference.

I test these two opposing hypotheses drawing on a large-N comparative dataset detailing the restrictiveness of visa-issuing practices of the EU/Schengen area, the United Kingdom and the United States in the period from 2005 to 2010. Using this data I show that their consular practices are highly similar. The only deviant cases are a notably more restrictive Belgium and liberal Italy. Hence, domestic differences appear to matter little in explaining extraterritorial migration control.


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