Border management in Europe

Europeanization and its discontents

Authored by: Karolina S. Follis

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores border management in Europe, asking if the concept of Europeanization is appropriate to capture its dynamics. Drawing on an understanding of Europeanization that emphasizes discourse and knowledge production, the chapter argues that within the European Union (EU), border management has developed in historically specific ways. From the early days of the 1985 Schengen Agreement, through the post-1989 geopolitical upheavals to today’s focus on the maritime border, external EU borders have been framed as the essential counterpart of internal freedom of movement. To establish them as such, the EU made significant investments in Integrated Border Management (IBM), which relies on common European border knowledge and infrastructure. Member states embrace IBM, even as they insist that borders are a sovereign matter. The chapter argues that by framing cross-border movements as a problem of management, the EU has depoliticized the fundamentally exclusionary, and therefore antagonistic sphere of border control.

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