CfP: Free Movement and “Internal” Border Politics, APSA Philadelphia

Call for papers, APSA Philadelphia

Free Movement and “Internal” Border Politics

Remarking on increasing numbers of refugees entering Europe, Prime Minister Cameron recently said that “Clearly we need to have either a system with external borders or a system with internal borders. You can’t have a system with borders that don’t work at either level,” before reassuring listeners that Britain will stay outside Schengen, the agreements that for the past twenty years have eliminated border checks between signatory states (external border controls and common visas for those entering and exiting the area, but no internal border controls). Chancellor Merkel counters that “simply sealing ourselves off will not solve the problem” before warning that a “distribution of refugees according to economic strength and other conditions … and the readiness for a permanent distribution mechanism … will determine whether the Schengen area will hold in the long term.” European Council President Tusk is more alarmist: “Let there be no doubt, the future of Schengen is at stake and time is running out. The clock is ticking, we are under pressure, we need to act fast” – since several Schengen states have reinstated border checks in an effort to limit refugee entry. On the other side of the Atlantic, a majority (26 at last count) of US governors have said that they would not accept Syrian refugees, prompting the Obama administration to threaten withdrawing federal funding and pointing out that immigration is a federal matter. Broader suggestions on immigration and border control are also emerging in the primaries for the US presidency, though such proposals are still a step away from the “bum blockade” in the Great Depression, which stationed police officers at California borders to turn back poor migrants from the rest of the United States, despite shared American citizenship. Similarly, Prime Minister Cameron promises, as part of renegotiating the UK’s place in Europe, to “control migration from the European Union” by “addressing ECJ judgments that have widened the scope of free movement in a way that has made it more difficult to tackle this kind of abuse” (referring to a host of perceived ills brought by EU migrants from countries such as Poland (one-sixth of all foreign citizens resident in the UK) and other EU member states) – despite shared EU citizenship.

From a comparative perpective of multilevel citizenship, this panel seeks papers that focus on “internal” migration, whether within the EU or within federal states such as the US or other states with sub-national governments and internal borders.

If you are interested in participating, please email an abstract (preferably 4500-5000 characters) and short bio to, preferably by December 20.