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Europe after DerridaCrisis and Potentiality$
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Agnes Czajka and Bora Isyar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748683369

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748683369.001.0001

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The Borders of Contemporary Europe

The Borders of Contemporary Europe

Territory, Justice and Rights

(p.95) Chapter 6 The Borders of Contemporary Europe
Europe after Derrida

Tracey Skillington

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores how current European policies aimed at border control and security manage relations of exchange with the global ‘outside’. Forced to address the ever-growing empirical proximity of this outside, Europe’s border practices become the centrepiece of a highly politicized debate on where the parameters of Europe ought to begin and end. In particular, this chapter will assess how universally applicable rights to free movement or safe haven are interpreted through this dialogue as secondary to the territorial privileges and vetoing powers of Europe’s self-determining sovereignties. Defined in its most general terms, this is a dialogue aimed at restricting entry to, appropriation of, entitlement to, or control over the territories and other resources of Europe. What it also represents, however, is an attempt to collapse the reciprocal nature of cosmopolitan rights into a one-sided interpretation of Europe’s ‘needs’ and responsibilities to global ‘others’. Continuing with themes explored by Derrida and a number of other key thinkers, this chapter critically examines how Europe today articulates its identity as ‘a Europe of rights’; explains how its border practices contribute to ‘building a citizens’ Europe’; defines self and other through a strategic opening and closing of its borders and interprets a common policy on ‘removal and return’ of illegal persons as in accordance ‘with the law and with human dignity’.

Keywords:   Derrida, Europe, borders, rights, mobility, immigration, securitization

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