A close look at the EU–Turkey deal: The language of border externalisation

Anna Casaglia, Agnese Pacciardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article discusses the language of border externalisation processes by examining the knowledge that stands as the basis of the EU–Turkey deal and reports on its implementation, placing them in the context of the transformation of the EU border regime. It is the result of a study addressing the language and key concepts that organise border externalisation and its geographic and biopolitical episteme. Our interest lies in the production of knowledge emerging from the EU–Turkey deal, and its effects on both the mainstream discourse on migration and the legitimation and acceptance of violent border management practices. To do this, we offer an interpretation of the textual materials composing the deal as promoting a discourse on migrants that strictly categorises territories and peoples, and establishes geographies of control and hierarchies of deserving and undeserving subjects, by asserting new forms of biopolitical control and care over their bodies. The presentation of research results combines the extraction of keywords and sentences from the documents analysed with an interpretation of their epistemic strength in producing and promoting specific biased Eurocentric narratives on migrants and migration. At the core of the agreement’s texts we find the category of the ‘deserving migrant’ as increasingly defining and circumscribing mobility, and realised in the one-for-one swap policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1676
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Issue number8
Early online date2022 May 18
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • International Migration and Ethnic Relations

Free keywords

  • border externalisation
  • EU
  • Turkey
  • Migration
  • knoweledge


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