Panel I

GOVERNING THROUGH UNCERTAINTY?

 

Organiser: Veronica Federico

Throughout Europe and beyond, the field of migration and asylum is more and more permeated by uncertainty. Often triggered by the impetus of mutable political winds, legislation on immigration and asylum has been constantly changing, quite often inconsistently, in European countries and beyond. The institutional landscape has contributed to add further complexity, given the multiplicity of entities involved in the “multi-level” and subsidiary-based management of migration, which often involves international actors. Against the axiom of legal certainty and predictability, the political and legal framework of migration and asylum is fragmented, difficult to be correctly and coherently implemented, and even more difficult to be navigated through by vulnerable people. Uncertainty permeates every stage of the national migration management systems, from the operations of rescue and succour, to the refugee status determination and, more broadly, the set of entitlements bestowed to migrants after being granted protection or the permit to stay. Such a structural lack of certainty affects migration governance effectiveness. And it strongly impacts on migrants, asylum applicants and refugees’ lives.

The panel addressees the topic by focusing on the following research questions: Which are the consequences of this uncertainty in terms of legal coherence, migration governance, institutional effectiveness and migrants, asylum applicants and refugees choices? How does precariousness influence migrants’ trajectories of life? How does uncertainty affects the society as a whole and the entire legal system? Can uncertainty be regarded as a “governance strategy” and/or as a tool of migration containment and control? Which are the fundamental reasons of uncertainty?

We welcome theoretical and empirical papers, case-study oriented and comparative research, as well as micro or macro levels of analysis. We encourage interdisciplinary proposals, merging together different perspectives, analytical frameworks and methodologies from the field of sociology, political science, anthropology and law.