Legitimizing policies: How policy approaches to irregular migrants are formulated and legitimized in Scandinavia

Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 2 (2):46-63 (2012)
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Abstract

The focus of this article is on representations of irregular migration in a Scandinavian context and how irregular migrants are constructed as a target group. A common feature in many European states is the difficult attempt to navigate between an urge for control and respecting, upholding and promoting humanitarian aspects of migration management. Legitimizing policies therefore become extremely important as governments have to appease national voters to remain in power and have to respect European regulations and international conventions. Doing so raises questions of social, political and economic rights, of moral obligations, of sovereignty, and of equity, as well as of how to define target groups and legal and categorical statuses into the debates. Having a backdrop in the theoretical framework of Carol Bacchi, Anne Schneider and Helen Ingram and Giorgio Agamben, this article looks at how policy problematizations and constructions of target populations guide and legitimize particular policy approaches and may end up marginalizing and excluding groups in society and ultimately become a challenge for democracy.Dansk abstract: Legitimering af politik: Hvordan politiske tilgange til irregulære indvandrere formuleres og legitimeres i SkandinavienFokus i denne artikel er på repræsentationer af irregulær migration i en skandinavisk kontekst og hvordan illegale indvandrere er konstrueret som målgruppe. Et fælles træk i mange vesteuropæiske nationalstater er det svære forsøg på at navigere mellem kontrol og samtidig respektere, forsvare og fremme humanitære aspekter af migrationsstyringen. At legitimere den givne politik er derfor blevet særdeles vigtigt fordi regeringerne er nødt til at formilde de nationale indvandringsskeptiske vælgere for at forblive ved magten og er nødsaget til at respektere europæiske regler og internationale konventioner. Dette italesætter en diskussion om sociale, politiske og økonomiske rettigheder, af moralske forpligtelser, af suverænitet, af at definere målgrupper og juridiske statuskategorier i debatterne. Artiklen har baggrund i en teoretisk ramme som er udstukket af Carol Bacchi, Anne Schneider, Helen Ingram og Giorgio Agamben. Artiklen ser på, hvordan politiske problematiseringer og konstruktioner af målgrupper vejleder og legitimerer bestemte politiske strategier og kan ende med at marginalisere og udelukke grupper i samfundet og i sidste ende blive en udfordring for demokratiske principper som sådan.

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J. Martin
Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

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State of Exception.Giorgio Agamben - 2004 - University of Chicago Press.

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