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Border control cooperation in the European Union: the Schengen visa policy in practice

Hobolth, Mogens (2012) Border control cooperation in the European Union: the Schengen visa policy in practice. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This research project investigates the governing of Europe’s external border. It analyses how the common Schengen short-stay visa policy has been applied in practice by member states in the period from 2005 to 2010. So far, little systematic theoretical and empirical research has been carried out on the implementation of Schengen. The contributions of the thesis are two-fold. Firstly, it makes available a comprehensive and easily accessible database on the visa requirements, issuing-practices and consular representation of EU states in all third countries. It enables researchers to map out and compare how restrictively the visa policy is implemented by different member states and across sending countries. Secondly, the project provides three separate papers that in different ways make use of the database to explore and explain the varying openness of Europe’s border and dynamics of cooperation among member states. The three papers are tied together by a framework conceptualising Schengen as a border regime with two key dimensions: restrictiveness and integration. The first paper asks to what extent, and why, Europe’s border is more open to visitors of some nationalities rather than others. The second paper investigates to what extent, and why, EU states cooperate on sharing consular facilities in the visa-issuing process. The third paper examines to what extent, and why, Schengen participation has a restrictive impact on the visa-issuing practices of member countries. The analyses test existing theories and develop new concepts and models. The three papers engage with rationalist and constructivist theories and seek to assess their relative explanatory power. In doing so, the project makes use of different quantitative comparative approaches. It employs regression analysis, social network analytical tools and quasi-experimental design. Overall, the thesis concludes that Schengen is characterized by extensive cooperation and restrictive practices towards especially visitors from poor, Muslim-majority and refugeeproducing countries.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Mogens Hobolth
Library of Congress subject classification: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Supervisor: Thielemann, Eiko and Jackson-Preece, Jennifer

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