The Making of Decisions
This chapter analyzes decision-making on Schengen visa applications. The chapter highlights decision-making as an organizational process of categorization with shifting empirical appropriateness and examines the decision-making process and its outcomes for Belgium, France, and Italy. I show the negative categories and the features that fall in categories country-by-country. State-bound concerns and purposes underline divergences in decision-making. Notions that pre-exist the communitarized legal framework, namely the ‘risk of procedure circumventing’ and the ‘risk of circumventing the purpose of the visa,’ inform Belgian and French organizational actions. Those notions are absent in the Italian case. Although national paths of organizational action, a coinciding operational meaning of the migratory risk is emerging. That is the risk of lawful settlements and its specifications such as the risk of applying for residence permits, the risk of marriage, and the risk for the welfare state. Because the Italian organization adopts understandings and know-how that are out-of-context yet familiar to Belgium and France, the targets of negative decisions become more and more similar. Given that a same legal framework cannot explain similarities in practice, one element remains to be questioned: the process whereby such policy change from below occurs.
KeywordsDecision-Making Categorization Objectivation Policy outcomes Migratory risk Policy change
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