Home > ()

Externalizing Migration Management: Europe, North America and the Spread of 'Remote Control' Practices (Routledge Research in Place, Space and Politics)

Zaiotti, Ruben (ed.)

Routledge, London (2016)
ISBN: 9781138121591 (pb)

Reviewed by Daniel Martin, Lancaster University

Order this book?

Cover of Externalizing Migration Management: Europe, North America and the Spread of 'Remote Control' Practices (Routledge Research in Place, Space and Politics) Refugee crises affect every country, this book examines the legal and contextual implications for Europe and North America. Focusing on the problem of outsourcing responsibility and management of crises, it additionally highlights the limits of political systems whilst providing contemporary and relevant debate on external and remote practises of sovereignty in governance. The edited volume, situated in a context of worldwide migration crises provides a focal point for the crises themselves. The book comprising 280 pages of main content is divided into four chronological sections, taking as its focus the problem of border mobility, changing boundaries and the legal and contextual narratives that form the core of these wider issues. The first section emphasises the role of technologies in externalization with Zaiotti providing a chart which details policies of remote migration management and their features. This table is particularly useful for understanding the broad scope of governance. Zaiotti proceeds to give a critical analysis of each of the items within the “policy tool-box” (P. 12). Williams and Mountz then translate Zaiotti’s commentary into a data-based account of migrant deaths and the relationship between resultant policies in Chapter two. The second section focuses on legal aspects, themes and agencies with Heijer providing an excellent analysis of the role of Frontex which is complimented by Folllis’s critique of European and British political motivations. Follis goes onto highlight how ethnography, usually excluded from policy making, has the power to inform and subsequently change border security policy and immigration law. Section three provides analyses of North American countries, with varied commentaries on the expansion of borders and the limits of immigration controls. This book, effective in its overview of providing a detailed look at two specific ranges of countries, makes as a useful tool for further research. The fourth and final chapter of the book gives conclusions provided by Geiger on the future of migration politics. Of importance is Geiger’s critique of the narratives and language of ‘migration management’ itself, arguing in favour of a shift away from technocratic legalisms in favour of a more, as echoed throughout the book, neoliberal tolerant and thereby accessible approach to dealing with migration issues.

Zhyznomirska’s “The European Union’s management of irregular migration in Eastern Europe” (Chapter seven) highlights the differences of Eastern European countries in migration management. The author asserts that co-operation between states has historically been the precedent for illegal immigration but notes the complexity of diplomacy when concerned with regular and national migration itself. Furthermore, they how political systems of governance have changed and that a hierarchical system of migration is emerging - a tier system that takes as its aim, selective citizenship.

A welcome exercise in accessibility the index itself is thorough, giving a clear range of sources. The authors take note of their methods used and give significant thought to possible solutions. Recognition is also given to the intricacies of political systems themselves, with the reader being walked through the stages of decision making in an insightful manner. Such overview necessitates a thorough understanding of the crises examined, providing a welcome break from the often complicated and impenetrable nexus of sociological and political methodology that seems at times to obfuscate social research narratives. Overall, this book provides an excellent analysis of externalisation on our countries borders. This is a great starting point for any student or researcher to begin examining the technicalities of crisis management beyond sovereign borders. Challenging the assumptions that border-security is concerned directly with policy, the array of methods and approaches used, illustrate the varied and important role that diversity of analyses has, providing a continued source of inspiration and intrigue.