Governing Through Rituals: Regulatory Ritualism in Czech Migration and Integration Policy. A new chapter of Sirius book

Sirius book

Here the abstract chapter, by Karel Čada and Karina Hoření, part of the book entitled “Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Integration in European Labour Markets. A Comparative Approach on Legal Barriers and Enablers” edited by Veronica Federico and Simone Baglioni.


The Czech Republic has become the target of immigration over only the last three decades; currently, migrants compose 4.5% of the population. Governments in the previous decade have supported the vision of short-term labour migration, and foreigners face many administrative obstacles given the difficult legislation. We employ the concept of regulatory ritualism to grasp the distinctive features of the Czech system. Following Power (The audit society. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1997) and Braithwaite (Regulatory capitalism: how it works, ideas for making it work better. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham/Northampton, 2008), we see regulation as a ritualised practice that comforts the public and cements the dominant normative order of migration policy. In this chapter, we introduce the historical and political context of migration policy, its institutional design, the Act on Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Czech Republic, the position of foreigners in Czech labour law, Czech integration policy and the consequences of recent institutional design for migrants. The main barriers of integration are difficult administration, poor knowledge of the language and precarious working conditions. Regulatory ritualism, a result of chaotic and unsystematic legislative work, is characterized by losing focus on achieving the goals or outcomes themselves, it establishes a climate of mutual distrust among those actors involved and places obstacles to collaboration between public authorities and migrants themselves.


Here you can download the chapter: