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Title: Historical institutionalism and the evolution of European Union's asylum and immigration acquis (1992-2004)
Author: Chou, M.-H.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis examines the evolution of European Union (EU) migration and asylum policy cooperation from 1992 to 2004. Using an analytical framework derived from the main tenets and recent applications of historical institutionalism, it identifies the sources of pressures that contributed to the decisions by the European heads of state and government to engage in and advance external migration regulation within an institutional setting that is itself an instance of the transformation of the modern state, the factors that determined which decision-making procedures were to be used for the cooperation, and the efficacy of the asylum and migration measures adopted vis-à-vis declared objectives. Three arguments are advanced. First, the historical context shapes the preferences of the member states for European cooperation in asylum and migration by containing a specific set of political, economic and social conditions. These conditions are sources of external pressure for change; they become pressures for change when they affect national and supranational governance. The responses from the member states to these diverse conditions in turn inform their decisions through a specification of desired objectives for European asylum and migration cooperation. Second, the institutional context impacts upon the strategies of EU member states and the central institutions by providing the formal rules which act as the ‘source’ of expected behaviour and contributes to ‘modifying’ expected behaviour. As the source of expected behaviour, the institutional context is the frame of reference – it affects the political actors’ strategies by explicitly specifying their assigned tasks and obligations whilst outlining consequences of non-compliance. As the structure within which interactions occur, the institutional context contributes to ‘modifying’ expected behaviour and affects the political actors’ strategies by re-calibrating their power differential relative to one another. The European institutional framework is a significant source of endogenous pressures for change. Third, European asylum and migration cooperation is constantly and incrementally changing as the result of endogenous factors and exogenous shocks speed up this change process when there is no convergence between the two sets of pressure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available