‘Responding’ to immigration: from militarisation to martial politics in Africa-EU relations

February 29, 2024 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Europe/Rome Timezone
Sala Belvedere
Alessandra Caldini
Join Toni Haastrup who will present on how militarised responses to migration by the EU are not exceptional but rather emblematic of long-standing martial politics, challenging the perception of recent events as unprecedented and urging a re-evaluation of the EU’s global role.
The focus of Toni Haastrup’s intervention is on the practices that are enabled by the EU’s migration regime which is inclusive of policies and institutions. She argues that while it is normal to see the increased use of militarised capabilities for migration control as an escalation or exceptional, brought on by recent events, the EU’s governance of migration by those outside of the Global North has always been characterised by martial politics. She uses the notion of “martial politics” as developed by Alison Howell (2018, 2019) to challenge the notion that recent European responses to immigration, particularly in the aftermath of the so-called migration crisis is exceptional. Rather, I want to suggest ‘Fortress Europe’, for example is constitutive of the European project, and consequently hostility to immigrants has always relied on the martial practices. To engage the EU’s immigration regime through the concept of martial politics is to evaluate “the historical roots and present expressions (Howell, 2018, 121) without bifurcating EU policies before and after the 2015, thus problematising the EU’s role in global politics.