In a new article, titled “Telling ‘more complex stories’ of European integration: how a sociotechnical perspective can help explain administrative continuity in the Common European Asylum System“, Annalisa Pelizza and Chiara Loschi explain an apparent paradox in the Common European Asylum System (CEAS): despite political stalemate over CEAS legislative reform and lack of trust amongst MSs, administrative cooperation shows operational continuity. Drawing on the ‘Infrastructural Europeanism’ approach, we argue that a sociotechnical perspective allows to detect the material means that operationally provide continuity to administrative action, despite policy gaps. It reveals mediating agency exerted by less visible actors who are nevertheless crucial to the integration process. Through a sociotechnical lens, alleged integration failures – like in the post-2015 asylum crisis – can reveal operational cooperation not visible if only legislative outcomes are taken into account. Empirically, the article shows how the International Organization for Migration assumed a role in mediating relocations between MSs, overcoming an implementation gap in health data circulation, thanks to its data infrastructure able to prompt data production, harmonize administrative standardization and build continuity in time.
The article is published Open Access in the journal Journal of European Public Policy.