590 Revista del Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos Núm. 2 / 2013 has accompanied migration policy during all these years: the link between border control and the management of migration flows. That is to say, work in the area has always been carried out on the premise that the only way to manage migratory flows was to develop border control policies. In this context, this article attempts to theorise the externalisation of migration policy and identify the interpretations and definitions that apply to this phenomenon. We will also attempt to identify the main criticisms received, which ultimately depend on where we draw the line that separates the field of human rights. Finally, we will attempt to demonstrate that externalisation is not just a new policy orientation, but a new theoretical discourse based on the idea that c o n f r o n t a t i o n o v e r migration between countries of origin and destination does not lead to the resolution of problems, and that it is more beneficial for the parties concerned to negotiate and cooperate. The question is what institutional narrative should be used to describe this discourse, because, as we shall see, there are several possible philosophies which are not all consistent because they have different interests and objectives. This article is structured into two parts: in chapter one we will examine the “externalisation” category in detail, based on the practices it encompasses; in chapter two we will present the main threads of a debate that has only just begun and the main criticisms of the issues, and we will conclude by highlighting the main points of the normative debate that has arisen as a result of these new shifts in policy in the hope of encouraging additional empirical research on the subject. 1. THE EXTERNALISATION CATEGORY AND THE PRACTICES IT ENCOMPASSES The main purpose of this paper is to open up a line of analysis categorising a set of political practices that imply interaction between two countries and affect the domestic policy of the decision-making actor. The Mediterranean area is the territorial context of this interaction. These new directions in immigration policy are labelled by the EU itself as an external dimension of migration policy, but two other terms are also used, and are perhaps more appropriate to an academic discussion: namely, the externalisation of immigration policy, or simply, extra-territorialisation of immigration policy. Whatever the term, there is a set of basic characteristics that form a common conceptual core: the link between policy and territory and sovereignty, in the sense that policymaking and the implementation and outcomes of these decisions differ territorially. There is a sort of hierarchical relationship in this two-territory relationship, in that there is one state with monopoly over both the decision-making process and the basic policy outcomes (this being the receiving country), and another where the policy is implemented and that only influences indirectly, through common meetings and agreement.
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