23 January 2013

CALL FOR PAPERS: Mapping the Law of Irregular Migration

Illegality Regimes: Mapping the Law of Irregular Migration
VU University Amsterdam, 30 May - 1 June 2013


OVERVIEW: Recent years have seen the development of increasingly sophisticated legal and policy approaches to address the phenomenon of irregular immigration. Many states have moved beyond traditional means of law enforcement, such as criminalization, without necessarily abandoning them. In addition, they have begun to employ other areas of law (such as administrative law and labor law) in pursuit of controlling irregular immigration.

For example, the verification of legal residence status, by means of ID-controls, has become increasingly necessary in the day to day life of all people: citizens and non-citizens alike. Private citizens, and not government agents, are evolving into the primary enforcers of these policies, as they have been made legally responsible for the control of legal residence status, for example in the case of employment.

These legal and policy instruments have sometimes been justified with reference to economic theories, such as 'attrition through enforcement', the broken window theory, and most recently 'self-deportation', a term that ironically originated in a stand-up sketch performed by two Hispanic comedians in the mid '90s, and was briefly promoted to a major policy proposal in the Romney campaign for the US presidential elections.

Among economic scholars, a debate about the (lack of) effectiveness of these policies has been growing the last couple of years. What is still absent, however, is a more rigorous analysis by legal and other social science scholars. This conference aims to explore the more systemic dimensions of these responses to irregular migration. For this purpose, scholars from all disciplines are invited to consider (any of) the following questions, or to respond with additional insights and approaches: What are the various legal and policy tools that have been developed to move beyond, or away from the criminalization of irregular migrants? In other words, how have the various innovations sought to counter the inflow of irregular migrants? Have these policies had a significant impact within their legal or policy field?

FURTHER INFORMATION: More information at: http://www.illegality.org

PAPER SUBMISSION PROCEDURE: Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be emailed (preferably attached in .pdf format) to submissions@illegality.org by 7 February 2013. Please also include a short bio in the same document as the abstract. The closing date for submissions of (full) papers will be 30 April 2013. For more information, write to info@illegality.org

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