Enforced Temporariness the Interplay of Securitisation and Economisation and the Emergence of Temporary Migrant Worker Programmes in Western Europe

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: 301
Oral Presentation
Kenneth HORVATH , University of Education Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany
Focusing on the level of migration politics, this paper enquires into the logics and processes underlying the formulation of temporary migrant worker programmes. Based on Foucault’s analysis of liberal governmentality and Jessop’s strategic-relational approach, I argue that the governing of temporary labour migration in liberal nation-states requires sophisticated political technologies. These technologies entail the differentiated deprivation of fundamental rights and are therefore neither unproblematic nor self-evident. Developing and establishing the necessary legal categorisations along skill levels, nationality, employment status etc. requires a complex interplay of two political rationalities that are often conceived of as contradictory: the securitisation and the economisation of migration. Once established, differentiations and measures introduced under securitised conditions can be invested in utilitarian migration policies. The interplay of these two rationalities depends on and is mediated by wider political-economic and societal transformation processes. In order to illustrate this general argument, I, first, give an overview of temporary migration policies introduced in Western European nation-states from the early 1990s onwards. Similar policies have been implemented in nation-states representing different "varieties of capitalism", party systems, migration histories, and welfare regimes. In a second step, I focus on developments in the UK and Austria to show how the securitisation of migration changed the strategic setting and thus enabled some actors to push their agenda of enforced temporariness and radicalised precarisation. Finally, I discuss how these political developments are linked to changes in the political-economic context – and argue that the interplay of securitisation and economisation has allowed to adapt migration regimes in line with new labour market needs.