A recent trend in migration policy in Europe is the increased use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for border control purposes. A growing academic literature explains the digitisation of border controls as an instance of the post-9/11 securitisation of migration policy. This paper re-examines why European states are digitising their border controls, and then explores how 'pre-emptive mobility governance' works. Although security imperatives play a role in accelerating digitisation, a securitisation framing obscures continuities with pre-9/11 practices and underplays other policy drivers. Pre-emptive mobility governance is best characterised as a digital-era version of 'remote control', and is shaped by other organisational and political rationales-first, instrumental beliefs about the efficiency gains of border technologies; second, their symbolic role in the context of the domestic politicisation of immigration. The paper then considers how ICTs are reshaping the tools of mobility governance, enabling three distinct modes of pre-emptive detection and effect.

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doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2013.787512, hdl.handle.net/1765/82216
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

Broeders, D.W.J, & Hampshire, J. (2013). Dreaming of Seamless Borders: ICTs and the Pre-Emptive Governance of Mobility in Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(8), 1201–1218. doi:10.1080/1369183X.2013.787512