Borders of the welfare state

Trinity term 2014 / Thursdays 14.00 - 15.30

Seminar Room, Pauling Centre, 58a Banbury Road, Oxford

Back to Events


Exploring the tensions between migration enforcement and welfare state entitlements

Scholars have long noted a tension between the formal exclusion of irregular migrants and their informal inclusion through personal networks or the discretion of street-level bureaucrats. The granting of legal entitlements to certain welfare services, however, pits the formal exclusion of this group of residents against their formal inclusion, the state apparently contradicting the logic of its own enforcement paradigm. Complicating this binary further is the situation of EU citizens and other regular migrants, whose formal inclusion in the nation-state may sit alongside formal exclusion or inclusion from welfare services. In this seminar series we aim to consider the tensions between the territorial border and the borders of the welfare state. We will explore its context in European human rights law and Europe’s differing welfare state models. The seminars will throw light on the competing imperatives that can set national governments against local state welfare providers and on the barriers which migrants and mobile EU citizens can face in accessing those services and benefits to which, in law, they are entitled.