Kostadinova, Valentina Ilcheva (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The thrust of this study is to provide a critical reading of the configuration of borders through the discourse of one of the main institutions of the European Union (EU), the European Commission. My starting point is the observation of multiplication and transformation of EU and European borders as a result of the process of integration. This implies simultaneous processes of de-bordering, border construction and reconstruction. Despite that the overwhelming majority of current research tends to focus on one aspect of these trends at the expense of the others. My premise is that as a supranational institution, the European Commission is ideally placed to provide an empirical illustration of how these processes occurs. It has a vested interest and an ability to promote further integration and therefore, ambiguous border configurations in its discourse highlight current limitations to border transcendence that instead lead to multiplication and transformation of EU and European borders. The research provides a comprehensive examination of the different types of borders configured by the discourse of the European Commission, thus allowing analysis of how exactly these are articulated. It looks into a number of EU policy areas, border controls, free movement of people, social policy and the European Neighbourhood Policy and, employing the strategy of double reading, examines various Commission documents in the period after the adoption of the Single European Act. The main body of the thesis starts with a theoretical framework, which outlines the most important concepts used in the research, which inform the analysis in the subsequent empirical chapters.
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