EuroStorie research seminar: Nicole Stybnarova 27.11.2020

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Time: Friday 27.11.2020 13:00-14:00

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Nicole Stybnarova: Historical Lessons from Law of Nations on Cultural and Value Cohesion as an Objective of Migration Policy – Where the Interests of the Ruled and the Ruling no Longer Converge


This paper scrutinizes the objectives of enhancing integration and social cohesion through immigration rules from a critical perspective of power and conflict theory. It utilizes evidence from the historical doctrine of Law of Nations and historical state practice in the US immigration policy of 18th and 19th century to demonstrate that the regard for perpetuation of the position of power by the ruling was a prominent objective of assuring value, opinion and cultural cohesion among the ruled via state immigration control.

Based on this knowledge, the article argues that although to a large extent the interests of the ruling and the ruled in ‘self-preservation of the state’ or ‘social and value cohesion’ intersect, there is an immanent conflict of interests which manifests itself in the way integration measures are conceived within migration law. The article shows that migration rules aimed at enhancing integration are ongoingly conceived more broadly than necessary, lack a precise reach and focus on the particular end; and demonstrate an aspect of arbitrariness. This continuously negatively affects the members of the domestic populations and their rights and must be accounted for not as a mistake or a lack of competence on the side of the state, but rather as a conflict of interests.

About the speaker

Nicole Stybnarova is a PhD. Research fellow at University of Helsinki's Faculty of Law. Stybnarova's focus is in Private international law, migration law and human rights.