Knowledge for Change #6 Professor Rainer Bauböck

Professor Rainer Bauböck, European University Institute in Florence.
Title: Migration and Mobility: European Dilemmas
November 21, 2018, 16.00-17.45
Auditorium B1, Niagara, Malmö University, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö.

The event will be moderated by Pieter Bevelander,  Professor of International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER) and Director of MIM, Malmö Institute of Migration, Diversity and Welfare, Malmö University.

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Europe needs to mobilise politically for more open borders, says visiting researcher (Interview with Rainer Bauböck)

Migration and Mobility: European Dilemmas
Migration and mobility are terms that describe the phenomenon of human geographical movement from different perspectives. “Mobility” looks at individuals’ movements in relation to space and time, whereas “migration” considers it from the perspective of territorial borders and relatively stable societies within these. Distinguishing between the two phenomena has been crucial for the modern state system: it has unleashed mobility as free movement within state borders but has subjected migration across borders to ever-increasing levels of control.
Today, however, states find it ever more difficult to maintain this distinction. There has been an exponential increase of transborder mobility  in the form of tourism and business trips that is not considered and regulated as migration. Rights of free movement have been projected from national to transnational spaces in Europe, Western Africa and South America. And the once clear-cut distinction between citizens with a right to residence and return, and foreigners subjected to immigration control has been blurred through quasi-citizenship statuses and the toleration of multiple citizenship.
All these trends have made the borders of European states much more porous and the distinction between migration and mobility less clear. Moreover, Europe’s economic wealth and demographic ageing, on the one hand, and the “youth bulge” and uneven economic development in Africa and the Arab world, on the other hand, suggest that Europe’s destiny is to attract many more immigrants from these global regions. Yet European democracies are increasingly divided internally by a “globalization cleavage” setting voters who embrace deeper European integration and globally more open societies against those who want governments to take back control over migration. These political attitudes seem to be linked to personal experiences and opportunities of mobility and immobility.
Political outcomes decided in electoral arenas can today have real impact on free movement, immigration and refugee protection in Europe. Given the persistence of the underlying mobility dynamics, on the one hand, and the power of anti-immigrant sentiments and political forces, on the other hand, the tension between mobility, migration and closure is likely to shape Europe’s future in decisive, albeit unpredictable ways.

Rainer Bauböck is part time professor in the Global Governance Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence. From 2007-2018 he held the chair in Social and Political Theory at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the European University Institute. He is corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and chair of the Academy’s Commission on Migration and Integration Research. His research interests are in normative political theory and comparative research on democratic citizenship, European integration, migration, nationalism and minority rights. Together with Jo Shaw (University of Edinburgh) and Maarten Vink (University of Maastricht), he coordinates GLOBALCIT, an online observatory on citizenship and voting rights.