Interest Groups and Strategic Constructivism: Business Actors and Border Security Policies in the European Union

T.E. Baird

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Evidence suggests that business lobbying shapes European Union (EU) border security policies, but there has been no detailed empirical and theoretical work detailing how interest groups exert influence in this domain. Building on strategic constructivist accounts of policy-making, the article argues that EU border security policies have been tailored to the preferences, identities, and frames of business actors through three key processes. Policy preferences are co-constituted by business actors through strategic communication, identities are constructed to gain political legitimacy through strategic legitimation, and social contexts are framed to fit business interests through practices of strategic contextualisation. I use evidence from in-depth interviews with key actors in the field of EU border security policy-making, participant observation at key border security events, and analysis of key policy documents to build the argument.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-136
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


This work was supported by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek [grant number 016.130.061]. Special thanks to two anonymous reviewers and the editors for their helpful comments on an earlier draft. Special thanks to all respondents for taking their time to speak with me. Research for this article was conducted as part of the project ‘Border Policies and Sovereignty: Human Rights and the Right to Life of Irregular Migrants’.

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek016.130.061


    • Border security
    • Constructivism
    • Home Affairs
    • Interest groups
    • Policy-Making


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