Migration and Border Management in Sub-Regional Integration Projects

Dr. Naomi Chi
Panel Code

Protection of state boundaries have been traditionally considered as “national competence”, proving and reflecting state power, sovereignty and control over territories. However, what we have witnessed in the 21st century is the transformation of this paradigm in at least the following two ways. First, the nature of threats have changed in many parts of the world from “hard” to “soft”, where for example territorial conflicts have been replaced with massive, usually illegal migration, additionally being more and more visible due to long-lasting wars and/or economic underdevelopment in certain parts of the world. Second, in many global regions and sub-regions, process of close cooperation or even integration have led to creation of integration groupings. They often foster not only economic exchange but also (are forced to) coordinate other policies, including human flows and joint border protection or at least intensive cooperation with this regard. Internal de-bordering, regardless of its form and character, fortifies external boundaries and forces partners to develop some form of answer to the issue of immigration in the context of regional commitments.
The aim of this panel is to overview various reactions to the migration problem as they appear in different regional integration projects and in different regions of the world. The projects differ in their form and nature in Europe, Asia, America and other continents, similarly to the migration flows they are exposed to. Consequently, it is not only academically interesting but also practically relevant to compare how global sub-regions react to migration with regard to managing borders, both those of “internal” characters as well as on the external edges. All of the presentations will consider how the respective regions are coping with the influx of migration, the policies and measures that are implemented to encourage or counter the influx, and the real challenges they face in controlling the border.