Crossing (Out) Borders: Migration to and Within Europe

by Prof. Regina Kreide

On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, Regina Kreide, Professor of Political Theory and the History of Ideas at Justus Liebig University Giessen, gave a lecture in the Combes Student Life Center on the subject of what constitutes a just (or unjust) border and the wider politics of migration both to and within the European Union. The event was sponsored by the George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention.

Professor Kreide outlined seven main debates in the academic discourse surrounding the legitimacy of borders, ultimately addressing the question of whether states should have the “right to exclude” – that is, to close their borders to individuals. She argued that so long as borders are coercive – imposed on people in a way that prevents them from exercising freedom of movement – they cannot be considered legitimate in this way.

She explained how, even within the EU, where physical borders are disappearing, technological advances in the border control industry are creating coercive digital borders through a process of securitization, which normalizes data collection, surveillance and political exclusion. This not only excludes migrants and refugees, but also European citizens; Professor Kriede used the example of the Romani people to illustrate this final point.

The full video of Professor Kreide’s talk is available below.