Between ‘Privilege’ and ‘Dispossession’. Governing Migration at the borders of Europe: The Case of Greece

This paper considers the emergence of a migration regime in the making at the Southeastern borders of Europe with special reference to Greece. Seen as the outpost of the European Union, Greece has been bound by two predicaments: a geographical predicament which situates the country as an entry point from Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia through the Mediterranean sea or the river Evros at the border with Turkey; and, an institutional predicament relating to the implementation of the Dublin II Regulation. Using data from current research in the region, we problematise the aforementioned predicaments and explore the different policy options, including non-policy, used for the management of migration flows. The main argument articulated is that Greece since 2002 has been implementing a crisis management approach that exacerbates the level of dispossession among refugees and undocumented migrants. This is due to both structural, i.e. institutional, deficiencies within the country and incoherent and unrealistic policies designed at the centre of Europe (Brussels). Using a bio-political approach, we consider practices of human rights violations at the Greek reception centres in Evros and Mytilini and identify the different actors involved in policing the European migration crisis.

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