The EU Migration Regime in the Context of the Permanent State of Exception

  • Ondřej Kaleta
Keywords: migration regime, European Union, state of emergency, political discourse, migration crisis


This article addresses the recent development of the EU asylum and migration policy (AMPEU) following the escalation of the migration wave in 2015. It has two main objectives – the conceptual and the analytical objective. By reconceptualizing the AMPEU as a specific type of international ‘migration regime’, it firstly introduces its complex structure comprised of several semiautonomous policy fields and shows their important interconnections. The empirical section provides an analysis of major political/security measures launched in 2015 and early 2016 to reform the AMPEU and stresses the regime’s flexibility in terms of absorbing them. It further reviews the different discursive legitimization of emergency solutions and their limitations. Using Giorgio Agamben’s postulate of ‘state of exception’ or ‘permanent state of emergency’ the author concludes the article by pointing out how the migration management led to a normalization of what were originally emergency instruments. He claims that there is a strengthening logic of ‘permanent exception’ in everyday EU migration policy making.

Author Biography

Ondřej Kaleta
born in 1987, he is a graduate of the Political Science and International Relations programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague (FSV UK). He earned his Master’s (Mgr. and PhDr.) degree in the Security Studies programme at the same faculty. During 2011 and 2012 he spent two semesters at the University of Bologna, Italy. His main research is focused on the areas of migration and European security. Since 2013 he has been a Ph.D. student at the Department of International Relations of FSV UK and has been working at the Section for European Affairs of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.
Research Articles