Chauvin, S. & Garcés-Mascareñas, B. (2020). Contradictions in the Moral Economy of Migrant Irregularity

Citation: Chauvin, S. & Garcés-Mascareñas, B. (2020). Contradictions in the Moral Economy of Migrant Irregularity, in S. Spencer, & A. Triandafyllidou, Eds. Migrants with Irregular Status in Europe: Evolving Conceptual and Policy Challenges. Springer.


Abstract/Description: "In spite of their rhetorical emphasis on enforcement, European governments have overseen a process of formal semi-inclusion of irregular migrants. That process has been taken further at the regional and municipal levels. This chapter explores the implications of that tension between formal exclusion and formal inclusion in two different ways. First, this apparent paradox allows us to deepen our understanding of the drivers and inherent trade-offs in the development of migration policies. Against unilaterally repressive theories, we argue that, in the area of migration, the state is confronted with contradictory imperatives and, ultimately, its various components have to choose whether to effectively exclude those not recognised as legitimate members or embrace the population as it is. Second, by unveiling the new moral economy of migrant illegality, that is, the contemporary discourse–policy nexus regulating the construction of irregular migrants as more or less illegal, this chapter reconsiders the notion of citizenship beyond dichotomous frameworks based on binary oppositions such as citizens vs non-citizens, formal vs informal, national vs local or legal exclusion vs performative acts of inclusion."


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