The political drivers of information exchange: Explaining interactions in the European Migration Network

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European administrative networks (EANs) are groups of national administrative organizations which are established to improve national-level implementation of European Union (EU) law. This paper addresses a key question concerning these networks: what drives interactions within them? To this end, the paper adds a dynamic political perspective to institutional hypotheses. It tests the resulting hypotheses using a most likely case, interactions in the European Migration Network (EMN) in the wake of the 2015–16 refugee crisis. Using social network analysis, it shows that two domestic political incentives are associated with interactions: the problem pressure experienced by member states following the 2015–16 refugee crisis and post-2015 declines in popular support for immigration. Our analysis also reveals that interactions occurred among member states with similarly high levels of government effectiveness. In sum, we show that EANs can provide significant added value for their members in politicized policy areas, although their utility may vary between network members.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Public Policy
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1656-1676
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • European administrative networks, European Migration Network, European Union, migration, social network analysis

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