HFIA03529U FILO EU border control in the 21st century

Volume 2013/2014
Master in Philosophy

central premises surrounding controversial political developments, such as the drowning of boat migrants in the Mediterranean Sea, push backs of migrants from Italy to Libya, and Greece to Turkey, the construction of a new asylum and control system in Turkey, the conditions of homeless refugees in Athens, the EU’s ERPUM project of deporting refugee children to Afghanistan, and the role of the security industry in operating detention camps (G4S, Serco), or in building the EUROSUR infrastructure of control (Finmecanicca, Thales).


The course will deal with questions such as: How can we conceptualize and theorize the humanitarian consequences of EU border control? Does illegal immigration constitute a security threat that undermines the European institution of asylum? Is the criminalization of irregular migration in itself undermining a European tradition of protection? Does the establishment of migrant detention camps inside and outside European territory violate the autonomy of migrants? What postcolonial dynamics influence relations between EU and so-called third countries when it comes to border control? Does the privatization of border control offer more efficient migration management or does it diffuse the chain of responsibility and accountability? Can externalized border control be said to do/allow or intend/foresee harm to migrants?


The course therefore examines normative, conceptual and methodological issues relating to the study of EU migration and border control policies. The main perspective of the course will be political philosophy and normative analyses of the discourses and arguments surrounding this contested policy issue. However, the course also relates such inquiries to other disciplines posing important questions to border control, such as law, critical geography, political economy and anthropology. By applying philosophical inquiry and multidisciplinary critique to policy papers from the European Commission, European Parliament and governmental statements as well as reports from ngos, think tanks and research institutions, this course adds empirical depth to normative discussions of immigration policies. Besides a central compendium of key texts and further readings, the course will also utilize an interactive web forum where students can discuss and have access to policy papers, reports and news feeds about EU border control, as well as a calendar of upcoming workshops, conferences and other arrangements on EU border control.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 44,5
  • Total
  • 44,5