Federica Infantino – The effects of the outsourcing to private service providers on the visa policy implementation

Federica Infantino – political scientist, FNRS/Université Libre de Bruxelles – Cevipol, Sciences Po Paris (CEE)

This contribution explores state responses to immigration based on the shifts in mode of regulation involving non-state actors (Guiraudon & Lahav, 2000). It focuses on the case of Schengen States cooperating with private service providers to implement the visa policy. The paper applies the street-level, implementation theoretical framework to an unusual field of inquiry: bordering policy rather than welfare policy. The paper draws on the case of visa services outsourcing in Morocco and is based on in-depth fieldwork research (12 months) carried out at the consulates of Belgium, France, Italy, and their relative visa application centres in Casablanca. The aim is twofold: first, tracing the processes leading to public/private governance as an emerging mode of the Schengen border management; second, questioning how public/private cooperation changes the conditions in which the visa policy is implemented therefore changing the policy outcomes. By putting forward how the conditions in which the visa policy is implemented change, the paper will argue that the determinants of the convergence of the Schengen visa policy outcomes are organizational factors determined by public/private cooperation.

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