Main Keynote Speaker


Memories of the Future: EU Border Externalization into the Cape Verde Islands Against the Aura of Mid-20th-century Decolonization


Much of the extant literature on border externalization assumes the EU as the exclusive actor radiating power and influence beyond its external boundaries. This is problematic, as it renders invisible the myriad ways countries on the receiving end of such strategies have themselves engaged in boundary externalization activities, nowhere more saliently than during the febrile moment of decolonization from European metropolitan powers. This paper therefore holds as a productive constellation two moments of European border externalization: 1) recent attempts to extend the borders of the EU migration-control complex onto the Cape Verdean islands off the coast of West Africa by way of Frontex and Operation Seahorse; and 2) drawing on the theoretical and political writings of the anti-colonial thinker Amilcar Cabral, charting the ways in which the Cape Verdean independence movement of the 1960s and 1970s sought to craft ‘non-national orientations to decolonization’ (Wilder, 2015), ones which sought to preclude the replication of the European nation-state form via intense international engagement across the length and breadth of the Portuguese empire as well as the former Socialist world. It will be argued that the failed attempt to craft a genuinely autonomous and indigenous state form for Cape Verde continues to exude a postcolonial aura that hangs heavily over current EU-administered attempts at boundary externalization in and around the islands. The genre best suited to capture that aura’s future, it shall be argued, is utopian science-fiction.


Olivier Thomas Kramsch, is senior researcher at Nijmegen
Centre for Border Research (NCBR), Department of Human
Geography at Radboud Universiteit, The Netherlands.
He has published extensively on European Integration in
the context of Cross-border relations.


Panel Discussion


Olivier Thomas Kramsch will be joined by Martin Bak Jørgensen, Martin Lemberg-Pedersen and Ariadna Servent in the roundtable discussion on EU Border Policies, Oct. 9, 2020. 



Martin Bak Jørgensen (Ph.D. Migration Studies) is Associate Professor affiliated with the DEMOS Research group at Aalborg University. His research encompasses the fields of sociology, political sociology, and political geography. Topics of focus include welfare, discrimination and inequality, migration, social movements, and solidarity practices. Over the last years he has been particularly interested in investigating how solidarity can manifest itself on different scales and how practices of solidarity can provide alternatives and spur social and political transformations. He has done analyses on refugee squats in Athens, the welcome refugee movements across Europe and institutionalised responses like the Refugee Plan of Barcelona. Currently he has started on a large project investigating the role and potential of sanctuary policies and practices on a global scale. He has published in journals like International Migration Review, Political Geography, Identities and Journal on International Migration and Integration. His book publications include Politics of Precarity together with Carl-Ulrik Scierup on Brill (2016), Solidarity without Borders Gramscian Perspectives on Migration and Civil Society Alliances edited with Óscar García Agustín on Pluto Press (2016). His latest book Solidarity and the 'Refugee Crisis' in Europe was published on Palgrave in 2019 co-written with Óscar García Agustín.

  Martin Lemberg-Pedersen is assistant professor at Global Refugee Studies (GRS), Department of Political Science, Aalborg University. He received his PhD from the Section of Philosophy, the University of Copenhagen.

His work revolves around interdisciplinary analyses of European and global border and displacement governance, with a particular focus on externalization, deportation, privatization and datafication. He has researched EU relations to Greek, Turkish and Libyan asylum and border politics, and European returns of unaccompanied minors to Afghanistan. He has had visiting fellowships at Refugee Studies Centre (RSC), Oxford University, Harokopio University Athens, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi. His work has been published in journals like Global Affairs, Citizenship Studies, Journal of Borderlands Studies, Questions of International Law, Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics and Energy Policy.

  Ariadna Ripoll Servent has been Assistant Professor of Political Science and European Integration at the University of Bamberg since 2013. She is currently a Jean Monnet Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence and a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. Her research focuses on European integration, EU institutions, and EU internal security policies. Her work has appeared in numerous international journals, including West European Politics, Journal of European Public Policy and Journal of Common Market Studies.


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