Organiser | Umut Korkut

How does macro-discourse of the political elite on increasing external migration to the EU affect everyday micro-deliberations and projections over the course of Europeanization? Departing from the need for opening up space for ethnographical and geographical research to understand the impact of international relations on everyday deliberations on migration, current research needs to depict how macro politics of migration to the European Union is forging audiences among the citizenry. In effect, we need to break out of the existing categories of Europhile, Eurosceptical, Euroreject, but look into everyday deliberations on Europeanisation within the frame of migration politics and the audiences these politics generate. We are also interested in papers tracing the geography, identity, culture, and gender elements that could affect the nature of such deliberations.

Europeanisation literature dates back to the 1990s, particularly concentrating on informing the accession processes of new EU Member States and Turkey. This literature adopted a particularly institutionalist approach and macro-political outlook on the course of Europeanisation. There has been an identity element essential to this research as well, though it has concentrated on macro- identities of that accession states vied to present, rather than how Europeanisation clashed and conflicted with micro-identities. The identity focus in this literature presented Hungary, Czech Republic and Poland as the most ready Europeanisers, given their Central European geography, culture, history and alike (Korkut 2012). Yet, we in fact see that particularly Poland and Hungary have become the most problematic EU members with Czech Republic replicating the independence rhetoric of the Tory party in the UK. Recently, there is a shift in Europeanisation research to understand identity politics in a more succinct way in effect to various crises, which foregrounds how identity contributed to further politicisation of Euro and Schengen crises (Borzel and Risse 2017). Yet, even this frame of Europeanisation still does not reach out to the micro-level. In response to these literatures, our paper traces how identity reconfigurations at this level is in fact the space where Europeanisation is debated, deliberated, and negotiated vis-à-vis the local, regional, and national identities of the public.

Therefore, we are proposing a discussion on how international relations around the “migration crisis” that the EU faces reach out and are deliberated at the micro-level embedded in everyday politics. This micro-level perspective entails a look at different spatial contexts from large cities with a lot of migration experience to rural or border areas which are often unexperienced when it comes to the presence of migrants and their integration. In doing so, we emphasize the role of social space in the interplay between elite discourses and micro-level deliberations. In this attempt, we are also theoretically interested in the audience making potential of current narratives on migration and how they correlate or clash with the micro-debates on international relations informed again by migration.