An ethnography of policy stability, change and subversion in the distribution of asylum responsibilities within Europe [provisional]

The 'Schengen/Dublin system', that is, the set of EU laws that regulate – in a highly restrictive way – the mobility of asylum seekers and refugees within the internal area of free movement – has been persistently criticised for its lack of fairness toward both 'external border countries' and asylum seekers and refugees.

In my project, I seek to shed light on the processes that underpin the stability of this system, in spite of these manifest shortcomings. In order to do so, I investigate ethnographically the way in which various actors involved in the institutionalization and implementation of this system – from national political and administrative elites, to supranational institutions, street-level bureaucrats, civil society actors, and migrants/asylum seekers/refugees themselves – conceive of and practically 'manage' intra-European 'secondary movements'.

Francesco Bosso
Research Student