43 / 2016
Uršula Lipovec Čebron, Jelka Zorn

Autonomy and Control of Migration in European “Buffer Zones”

Two key concepts that intertwine throughout the text are immigration control and the autonomy of migration. It is important to emphasize that in practice, the former is a response to the latter and not the other way around. The concept of the autonomy of migration makes it possible to consider refugees and migrants without resorting to victimization and security discourse. Control is broken down by presenting typical discourses (the distinction between refugees and economic migrants, security discourse, victim discourse, asylum abuse) and countermeasures (incarcerating “illegal” migrants and the externalization of European borders). The main argument is that in practice, immigration control blocks not only the autonomy of migration, but also the system of international protection (asylum). These concepts and practices are reflected in Europe’s externalized borders – “buffer zones” which are supposed to support the European asylum system and also protect the EU from migrations. The paper views practices in these buffer zones from the perspective of the autonomy of migration, and thus goes beyond the narrow framework of oppression and the ineffective system of protection.
KEY WORDS: borders, asylum, international protection, refugees, detention centre.

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