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Title: Negotiating meanings and power : the politics of Romanian immigration in Italy and Spain
Author: McMahon, Simon Alexander
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis critically engages with the politics of citizenship, immigration and identity in Europe. It asks why different public and political responses to the presence of Romanian immigrants have arisen in Italy, where this nationality has been presented as a threat to security and public order, compared to Spain where this has not been so. In doing so, it has sought to bring an understudied immigrant population into mainstream academic view whilst contrasting the prevalent idea in academia and politics that immigrants constitute culturally homogeneous and bounded groups or communities. It argues that different responses are due not to the cultural characteristics of immigrants themselves but rather to the choices and strategies of mobilisation of structurally-situated actors who negotiate what it means to be categorised as being of one of these nationalities. It then examines the implications of the accession of Romania to the European Union in 2007, finding that the legal category of EU citizen does not directly herald an increasing presence in the public sphere for Romanian immigrants. Instead, the impact of the rights of citizenship of the EU on public references to Romanian immigrants are contingent on local contexts and dependent on the ability of specific actors to take advantage of national and local opportunities for inclusion and participation. The research project thus contributes empirically and methodologically to diverse literatures on the role of identity in contemporary politics, immigrant and ethnic minority political participation and social movements, and the implications of European Union integration on immigration, immigrant integration and social citizenship in the current phase of globalisation. It thus provides a perspective on the political dimension of immigration and ethnic relations as well as a way of unveiling and explaining the mobilisation of populist xenophobic discourses found in some European countries today.
Supervisor: Clarkson, Alexander Philip Harold; Talani, Leila Simona Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available