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Registration of irregularised migrants in the EU in times of “crisis”

Research output: Book / Anthology / Report / Ph.D. thesisPh.D. thesis

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Registration of irregularised migrants in the EU in times of “crisis”. / Vlassis, Vasilieos-Spyridon.

IT-Universitetet i København, 2019. 239 p.

Research output: Book / Anthology / Report / Ph.D. thesisPh.D. thesis

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@phdthesis{e6be5f29ecb7445293c75a7e8029316f,
title = "Registration of irregularised migrants in the EU in times of “crisis”",
abstract = "Identification and registration of international migrants is one of the mainconcerns and duties of border agencies around the world. They are at the core ofthe set of the processes that constitute contemporary borders. The shaping,maintenance and function of registration systems is a multi-factorial socialprocess that challenges and at the same time co-shapes what modern nationborders are regarded to be in the modern era. International migration and morespecifically irregularised migration, in turn, challenges the traditional function ofa border as a firewall that either allows or blocks a person{\textquoteright}s mobility. Thus, it isoften associated with discourses of security, order, national identity of thereceiving state, and humanitarianism. The discourse around migration andborders is saturated with the presence of a number of categories that are widelyand unproblematically circulated without consideration of their ontological andepistemological status which is often more complicated than it is presented.Critical scholars from the fields of border and migration studies, surveillancestudies and Science and Technology Studies (STS) have challenged thenaturalization of those categories, as well as the invisibility of much of theborder related work that produces, maintains and circulates them.This dissertation aims to contribute to the aforementioned body of work,and at the same time participate in the recent debate around irregularisedmigration and the border regime of the EU, as well as around the so-called“migration crisis” originating in the spring of 2015. It does so, by criticallyexamining the social processes that constitute what is the identification andregistration of irregularised migrants in the external borders EU, with anethnographical focus on the Greek islands situated in the maritime bordersbetween Greece and Turkey. Furthermore, by constructing a genealogy of theDublin system, consisting of the Dublin Regulation and the EURODAC Regulation, the latter being the main Information Communication Technology (ICT) toolused in the EU for the administration of asylum applications and the governanceof asylum seekers and other irregularised migrants.Conducting ethnographic fieldwork with the actors that work onidentification and registration of irregularised migrants is a chance for a deeperunderstanding of their practices, their technological and discursive tools, theirown conceptualization of their work and position in the border regime of the EU.In addition, it allows the researcher a direct (to the possible extent) access in theprocess of construction of categorization schemes and their reification inmanageable data that are crucial for the governance of the migrant populations.Furthermore, the research method of interviews allows for the re-addressingand further examination of controversies and “anomalies” that come up duringfieldwork. Finally, critical reading of policy papers is the base for theconstruction of a genealogy of registration systems that in turn helps in theconceptualizing of contemporary practices. These practices, I argue are notexclusively about discovering a well hidden truth, but also about shaping it; notonly about revealing a migrant{\textquoteright}s identity, but also and perhaps more importantlyabout constructing and attributing it.Border and migration related policies have an ambiguous relationshipwith the practices of actors in the field. They dictate and determine them but thelevel difference renders them two distinct realities. Policy papers and statestrategies mean nothing outside their actual implementation by field workers.The complexity of both levels, as well as that of the relationship between them,the organizational structure of the EU, and the different practices and policiesdeveloped in domestic level in each Member state render universal accounts ofthe “EU{\textquoteright}s borders” an impossible task. Instead, geographically localized, andpolitically and contextually situated accounts can capture instances of thecomplex phenomena that is border work. And that is a purpose in which thepresent thesis ascribes itself.",
author = "Vasilieos-Spyridon Vlassis",
note = "The pdf is a temporary version.",
year = "2019",
language = "English",
publisher = "IT-Universitetet i K{\o}benhavn",
address = "Denmark",

}

RIS

TY - BOOK

T1 - Registration of irregularised migrants in the EU in times of “crisis”

AU - Vlassis, Vasilieos-Spyridon

N1 - The pdf is a temporary version.

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - Identification and registration of international migrants is one of the mainconcerns and duties of border agencies around the world. They are at the core ofthe set of the processes that constitute contemporary borders. The shaping,maintenance and function of registration systems is a multi-factorial socialprocess that challenges and at the same time co-shapes what modern nationborders are regarded to be in the modern era. International migration and morespecifically irregularised migration, in turn, challenges the traditional function ofa border as a firewall that either allows or blocks a person’s mobility. Thus, it isoften associated with discourses of security, order, national identity of thereceiving state, and humanitarianism. The discourse around migration andborders is saturated with the presence of a number of categories that are widelyand unproblematically circulated without consideration of their ontological andepistemological status which is often more complicated than it is presented.Critical scholars from the fields of border and migration studies, surveillancestudies and Science and Technology Studies (STS) have challenged thenaturalization of those categories, as well as the invisibility of much of theborder related work that produces, maintains and circulates them.This dissertation aims to contribute to the aforementioned body of work,and at the same time participate in the recent debate around irregularisedmigration and the border regime of the EU, as well as around the so-called“migration crisis” originating in the spring of 2015. It does so, by criticallyexamining the social processes that constitute what is the identification andregistration of irregularised migrants in the external borders EU, with anethnographical focus on the Greek islands situated in the maritime bordersbetween Greece and Turkey. Furthermore, by constructing a genealogy of theDublin system, consisting of the Dublin Regulation and the EURODAC Regulation, the latter being the main Information Communication Technology (ICT) toolused in the EU for the administration of asylum applications and the governanceof asylum seekers and other irregularised migrants.Conducting ethnographic fieldwork with the actors that work onidentification and registration of irregularised migrants is a chance for a deeperunderstanding of their practices, their technological and discursive tools, theirown conceptualization of their work and position in the border regime of the EU.In addition, it allows the researcher a direct (to the possible extent) access in theprocess of construction of categorization schemes and their reification inmanageable data that are crucial for the governance of the migrant populations.Furthermore, the research method of interviews allows for the re-addressingand further examination of controversies and “anomalies” that come up duringfieldwork. Finally, critical reading of policy papers is the base for theconstruction of a genealogy of registration systems that in turn helps in theconceptualizing of contemporary practices. These practices, I argue are notexclusively about discovering a well hidden truth, but also about shaping it; notonly about revealing a migrant’s identity, but also and perhaps more importantlyabout constructing and attributing it.Border and migration related policies have an ambiguous relationshipwith the practices of actors in the field. They dictate and determine them but thelevel difference renders them two distinct realities. Policy papers and statestrategies mean nothing outside their actual implementation by field workers.The complexity of both levels, as well as that of the relationship between them,the organizational structure of the EU, and the different practices and policiesdeveloped in domestic level in each Member state render universal accounts ofthe “EU’s borders” an impossible task. Instead, geographically localized, andpolitically and contextually situated accounts can capture instances of thecomplex phenomena that is border work. And that is a purpose in which thepresent thesis ascribes itself.

AB - Identification and registration of international migrants is one of the mainconcerns and duties of border agencies around the world. They are at the core ofthe set of the processes that constitute contemporary borders. The shaping,maintenance and function of registration systems is a multi-factorial socialprocess that challenges and at the same time co-shapes what modern nationborders are regarded to be in the modern era. International migration and morespecifically irregularised migration, in turn, challenges the traditional function ofa border as a firewall that either allows or blocks a person’s mobility. Thus, it isoften associated with discourses of security, order, national identity of thereceiving state, and humanitarianism. The discourse around migration andborders is saturated with the presence of a number of categories that are widelyand unproblematically circulated without consideration of their ontological andepistemological status which is often more complicated than it is presented.Critical scholars from the fields of border and migration studies, surveillancestudies and Science and Technology Studies (STS) have challenged thenaturalization of those categories, as well as the invisibility of much of theborder related work that produces, maintains and circulates them.This dissertation aims to contribute to the aforementioned body of work,and at the same time participate in the recent debate around irregularisedmigration and the border regime of the EU, as well as around the so-called“migration crisis” originating in the spring of 2015. It does so, by criticallyexamining the social processes that constitute what is the identification andregistration of irregularised migrants in the external borders EU, with anethnographical focus on the Greek islands situated in the maritime bordersbetween Greece and Turkey. Furthermore, by constructing a genealogy of theDublin system, consisting of the Dublin Regulation and the EURODAC Regulation, the latter being the main Information Communication Technology (ICT) toolused in the EU for the administration of asylum applications and the governanceof asylum seekers and other irregularised migrants.Conducting ethnographic fieldwork with the actors that work onidentification and registration of irregularised migrants is a chance for a deeperunderstanding of their practices, their technological and discursive tools, theirown conceptualization of their work and position in the border regime of the EU.In addition, it allows the researcher a direct (to the possible extent) access in theprocess of construction of categorization schemes and their reification inmanageable data that are crucial for the governance of the migrant populations.Furthermore, the research method of interviews allows for the re-addressingand further examination of controversies and “anomalies” that come up duringfieldwork. Finally, critical reading of policy papers is the base for theconstruction of a genealogy of registration systems that in turn helps in theconceptualizing of contemporary practices. These practices, I argue are notexclusively about discovering a well hidden truth, but also about shaping it; notonly about revealing a migrant’s identity, but also and perhaps more importantlyabout constructing and attributing it.Border and migration related policies have an ambiguous relationshipwith the practices of actors in the field. They dictate and determine them but thelevel difference renders them two distinct realities. Policy papers and statestrategies mean nothing outside their actual implementation by field workers.The complexity of both levels, as well as that of the relationship between them,the organizational structure of the EU, and the different practices and policiesdeveloped in domestic level in each Member state render universal accounts ofthe “EU’s borders” an impossible task. Instead, geographically localized, andpolitically and contextually situated accounts can capture instances of thecomplex phenomena that is border work. And that is a purpose in which thepresent thesis ascribes itself.

M3 - Ph.D. thesis

BT - Registration of irregularised migrants in the EU in times of “crisis”

PB - IT-Universitetet i København

ER -

ID: 84674016