The State Strikes Back: Immigration Policy in the European Union
Scholars have argued that the dynamics of immigration control have changed. Unlike previous waves of immigration which were controlled by national law and administration, this wave would be more difficult to control. Because of the constraints imposed by international agreements, international institutions, and national judicial authorities, controls would be embedded in international institutions and law that were assumed to be inclined to be less restrictive than national institutions and law. Looking at these patterns over the past 20 years, it now appears that international constraints on immigration control have been highly exaggerated. Indeed, international relations have become an important context for understanding the enhanced ability of states to control immigration, and to develop more muscular policies for integration. For this reason, international constraints may be less important for understanding the development of immigration policy than neo-nationalism, enhanced through intergovernmental relations in the international system. Therefore, what began as a scholarly discussion of the limits on restrictionist policies because of international constraints has developed into a discussion of the use of international relations to strengthen the effectiveness of restrictionist policies.