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Exploring the EU’s status quo tendency in the migration policy field: a network-centred perspective

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journal contribution
posted on 14.05.2022, 07:40 by Leila Hadj Abdou, Andrea Pettrachin

Why have fundamental policy positions within the EU migration policy field remained relatively stable despite the changing composition of policy players and several ‘external shocks’ in the last two decades? To complement existing explanations of status quo tendencies in EU migration policy, this article applies a network-centred organizational approach shedding light on the policy environment in which policymakers form their understanding of policy problems and make choices. The analysis of data collected through interviews with representatives of national governments, EU institutions, international organizations, and non-governmental actors, suggests that status quo tendencies in EU migration policy depend on processes of knowledge formation and key features of the migration policy network, including not only its compositional specifics but also network constellations, dynamics of trust and perceptions of like-mindedness that guide policy actors’ processing of information.


This article is based upon research conducted within the Project Prospects for International Migration Governance, funded by the ERC Advanced Grant (no. 340430), awarded to Professor Andrew Geddes.