Call for papers: Migration and “New Governance” in the EU

The University of Strathclyde, Professor Paul James Cardwell and Dr Rachael Dickson invite the submission of abstracts for a two-day interdisciplinary workshop on ‘Migration and “New Governance” in the EU’ to be held on 14-15 March 2019 in Glasgow.

The management of external migration to the EU has become a focal point of the EU’s raison d’être and the focus of much criticism in light of the migration ‘crisis’ of the last few years. Such criticism has, paradoxically, suggested both that the EU is unable to manage migration effectively and that it is doing so in a way which pays scant regard to human rights and international obligations. The rise in populism across many European countries has shone a light on what the EU should or should not be doing in terms of migration and – crucially – how.

Even before the migration ‘crisis’, we have witnessed an increasing use of innovative means by which migration from outside the EU is managed. References in EU policy documents to ‘all available tools’ suggest that there is much more to migration management than the legal-regulatory measures that EU scholars are familiar with. The emergence of (for example) mobility partnerships and platforms; a highly differentiated typology of formal and informal engagements with third states (e.g. the EU-Turkey ‘deal’) and the use of tools which resemble legal instruments without having the qualities of law, have become increasingly commonplace. In this respect, the maturing system of governance of migration recalls some of the literature from the 1990s and 2000s on new governance in dimensions of European integration, though in a rather different context. Migration appears to have become a testing ground for the use of innovative tools of governance in a contemporary context. However, without the formal and procedural requirements of law, there is a risk that the protection of human rights and the EU’s own commitments to upholding its values will be undermined.

To better understand how EU migration management works in a contemporary context, the workshop aims to consider the following questions: what is the EU doing to manage migration and how have practices evolved? What mechanisms measures are being used outside (or in combination with) the formal legal framework and what are the drivers? Who do these mechanisms operate for and how do they work in practice? What is the relationship with ‘traditional’ EU law as we understand it? How are non-state actors (such as companies, international organisations or NGOs) involved? What are the implications of instances of new governance in migration for human rights and citizenship? Can any trends of governance be identified? How can the EU’s activities compare to other examples in Member States or beyond Europe? If so, how can we interpret these trends and how do they connect with more general questions of European integration and identity?

Papers are invited which examine aspects of the EU’s migration management insofar as they relate to new, or alternative, tools or modes of governance. This includes measures which could be described as ‘soft law’. Papers that consider the implications of such approaches on specific societal groups, migration activities or country case studies are welcome. Papers taking an interdisciplinary approach and with a theoretical or methodological focus on understanding the contours of contemporary migration in the EU are particularly welcome. Papers are invited from both established and early-career scholars, including advanced PhD students.

The two-day workshop will take place in Glasgow city centre at the University of Strathclyde, on 14-15 March 2019. Financial support for the workshop has been provided by the James Madison Charitable Trust and the University of Strathclyde New Professors’ Fund. The organisers hope to contribute to some of the travel costs of participants.

Please send abstracts (250 words) by email to and by 14 December 2018. Responses will be given by 21 December 2018. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for financial support to attend. There is no participation fee for the workshop.