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Title: Immigration, asylum, and cycles of European exclusion
Author: Jarvis, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 6393
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2016
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The hypothesis of this thesis is that hidden behind the European legal approach to issues of Immigration and asylum is the deeply embedded European philosophy of exclusion. The thesis argues that exclusion has its roots in historical interpretations of Difference and Otherness. It is cyclical in nature, and the identity of groups targeted for exclusion changes over time. The thesis argues that the practice of exclusion has been honed and perfected into a societal norm from which exclusionary law claims legitimacy. It goes on to develop the idea that exclusion is a reflection of a deeper societal unease rooted somewhere in European history culture and philosophy, the influence of which continues to have a deleterious effect on contemporary attitudes towards immigration and asylum, and on the corresponding laws of the European Union and its member states. Whilst law indicates the methods and grounds of exclusion it does not indicate the philosophy and psyche behind the law. In order to test the hypothesis, the thesis explores the social and legal history of exclusion in Europe from the 19th century to the present time. It strives to establish the identities of the excluded in the pre-first World War European Empires, and suggests that they were essentially defined by their Europeanness, and often based on internecine conflict. The thesis goes on to look for similarities in the identities of the excluded of the interwar years, and notes how issues of race resurfaced to form a new ideology. The chronology continues by exploring the post Second World War period, and notes how the identities of those who occupied the symbolic space of exclusion evolved from an essentially European identity, to new non-European characteristics, linked to the rise of non-European immigration. The thesis therefore suggests that Difference, Otherness and Exclusion have evolved into a societal norm from which exclusionary law claims legitimacy. It suggests that the concepts of Difference Otherness and Exclusion continue to influence contemporary society, and suggests that Europe remains preoccupied with issues of identity and of responding to these issues in a traditional exclusionary manner. Finally the thesis begins to consider whether the animosity and mistrust previously reserved for the European Jewry is now being re-focused on Europe’s Muslim community. It asks if the restrictions on the entry into Europe of those fleeing conflict in the Middle East, and of those who hail from the Indian sub-continent and who wish to settle in Europe, are an expression of a new cycle of exclusionary practice where only the identity of the excluded has changed. Therefore the thesis aims to contribute to knowledge by re-visiting some of the ambiguities inherent in European history, law and society; and challenge assumptions of what gives rise to pejorative attitudes towards immigration and asylum. Through the exercise of independent critical analysis it aims at a new interpretation of known facts. By applying theoretical interpretations to historical and contemporary narrative, the thesis seeks to demonstrate that the identity of the excluded is seldom static, and advances the idea that exclusion, based on ethnicity or religion or gender - the list is not exhaustive – has cyclical characteristics. In terms of law and scholarship it is of societal benefit to understand who were the excluded of the past – and why; who are the currently excluded – and why; and how, given an understanding of the past and the present, it may be possible to forecast who are to be the future excluded, and why this might be so.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Law