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Title: Centring on the margins : migration control in Malta, Cyprus and the European Union
Author: Mainwaring, Cetta
ISNI:       0000 0003 9932 850X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Why does the European Union focus on controlling irregular immigration at the external border? The emphasis presents a paradox as most irregular migrants in the EU arrive through legal channels and subsequently overstay or violate the conditions of their visa. In order to explore this paradox, the thesis examines two case studies, Malta and Cyprus. As small island states on the Union’s southern periphery, the two are ostensibly unable to resist the transfer of migration controls and asylum responsibility to the EU’s external borders. Yet, employing nonmaterial power, namely by highlighting the perceived migration pressures they are under, the two states have successfully attracted significant financial and practical support from other member states. In doing so, they have influenced policymaking within EU migration governance, but have ultimately reinforced the emphasis on controlling irregular immigration at the external border by portraying the phenomenon as a crisis. This thesis not only sheds light on the interaction between the EU and the two states under investigation, but combines three levels of analysis – the regional, national, and local. The crisis narrative detrimentally affects the migrant and refugee populations as it encourages the adoption of restrictive and deterrent measures rather than ensuring access to rights and long-term integration. Nevertheless, this population is not without agency. It is their individual decisions to move across national borders without state authorisation that in the aggregate both compels states into dialogue about the issue and provides the basis for the dynamic between the EU and these two member states.
Supervisor: Nicolaidis, Kalypso ; Duvell, Franck Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International studies ; Migration ; Europe ; Ethnographic practices ; Asylum ; Human smuggling and trafficking ; Social justice ; Irregular Immigration ; Borders ; Migration Control ; Migrant Agency ; Small States ; Power ; European Union ; Malta ; Cyprus