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Policy, Protest and Multi-Level Games: Protesting the Deportation of Asylum-Seekers in France

Meghan Moquin Luhman

As asylum and deportation policies become partially Europeanized, member states such as France respond by moving between the national and supranational scale to discursively ground their policy preferences. Within this environment, non-governmental actors and migrant rights' advocacy organizations must also act at both levels. However, the case of protest against deportation policy shows the need to add complexity to two-level games models, because policy makers, entrepreneurs, and policy change advocates target different institutions within the same level. For example, the deportation of asylum-seekers in France can be carried out regionally or nationally, or coordinated at the European level by FRONTEX. These deportations and the institution of FRONTEX itself are often justified on the one hand, by a securitizing logic, and on the other, a technocratic "migration management" logic. On the other hand, actors wishing to protest these deportations must use a combination or national and European level strategies at the same time, due to their relative weakness in terms of resources, power, and discursive opportunities. Thus, the targets of their action are often different than the institutions carrying out the deportations themselves, suggesting the need for a more relational, dynamic model of policy change and protest.

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