A Changing and Multi-scalar EU Borderscape: The Expansion of Asylum and the Normalisation of the Deportation of EU and EFTA Citizens


The sorting of individuals is one critical function performed by migration law. These legal regulations are based on dichotomies, such as separating irregular migrants from regular migrants. However, through the multi-scalar management of human mobility, the conflicting coexistence of national and supranational interests decentres these legal binaries. Therefore, migration law devices sort newcomers in a more complex way, giving shape to multilayered and unstable hierarchies of otherness. Using Spain as a case study on migration control changes, this paper addresses the role that migration law enforcement institutions play in cementing and eroding these legal categories. First, it analyses the consequences of the so-called ‘migration crisis’ in enlarging a European asylum system that, until recently, seemingly rests on few countries. Second, it examines the increasing normalisation of the forced return of European Union (EU) (and European Free Trade Association [EFTA]) nationals, which undermine a critical prerogative of the EU citizenship status.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2020-08-05
Pages:21 to 33
Section:Special Issue: Migration, Vulnerability and Violence
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Author Biographies

University of A Coruña

José A. Brandariz is an associate professor at ECRIM, University of A Coruña, Spain. In the last years, his research concerns have been focused on the criminology of mobility, as well as on managerial penality and the political economy of punishment.

University of A Coruña

Cristina Fernandez-Bessa Ph.D. is a Juan de la Cierva senior research fellow at ECRIM, University of A Coruña, Spain. Her research focuses on the criminology of mobility and borders, policing, prisons, gender and human rights.