The IES Migration & Diversity Speaker Series: Kimberly Morgan

April 9, 2018
Kimberly Morgan, George Washington University

“Policing Markets: Immigration Control and State Transformation in Europe”

Immigration control conjures up images of guards, guns, and border walls. In Europe, however, governments have adopted another form of immigration control – employer sanctions and other measures that make it difficult for irregular migrants to find work. Behind these increasingly common policies, and the tough rhetoric that accompanies them, there remain considerable differences in the bureaucratic means mobilized to implement these measures. What explains these both convergent and divergent trends? Examining employer sanctions policies and their enforcement over several decades in three cases – France, Italy, and the United Kingdom – Dr. Morgan argues that the politicization of immigration unleashed similar dynamics in all three countries, as interest groups opposed to labor market controls progressively lost the ability to block them. However, France differs from the other two cases in the extent to which it has translated tough sanctions on paper into meaningful enforcement – something Dr. Morgan explains by examining preexisting labor market and state structures. In all three cases the “fight” against irregular migrant work has led to a wider recasting of the relationship between states and economies, as state officials seek to shine a light onto the shadow economies. The result is an intensification of the state’s role in overseeing economic transactions and monitoring the lives of denizens and citizens alike.

POLI Seminar Room, Buchanan C403