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Title: The local governance of European social citizenship
Author: Bruzelius, Cecilia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6501 0576
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is a study of EU migrant citizens' substantive social rights. Much research has concerned itself with the expansion of freedom of movement and cross-border social rights in the EU. However, most of this research has analysed only formal rights, overlooking substantive rights. In the multilevel setting that is the EU, social rights are being adjudicated at a supra-national level, but realised at the national and sub-national level. Numerous different regulations, actors and practices thus shape the substantive social rights of EU migrant citizens, making their rights especially prone to distortion in the process of practical implementation. Examining how formal rights translate into substantive ones is important to understand how and where the lines of exclusion and inclusion of European social citizenship are drawn. Specifically, the thesis looks as how formal social rights translate into substantive rights with a focus on the local level. This is where any pressures from internal EU-migration on social provision are felt, where gaps in the social protection of EU migrant citizens make themselves evident, and where many social rights are exercised. The central research question of the thesis is thus: how are EU migrant citizens' social rights governed at the local level? The thesis adopts a qualitative and explorative method. More specifically, it examines barriers that EU migrant citizens face when trying to access social benefits and services. The study also takes a comparative approach, and contrasts localities across two member states that can be seen as critical cases: Germany and Sweden. In two cities in each country (Berlin and Hamburg, Gothenburg and Stockholm), interviews were conducted with local public administrators, welfare providers and advocacy organisations. The interviews were later related to relevant policy documents in a thematic analysis guided by the overarching research question. The main contribution of the thesis lies in identifying certain direct and indirect factors that shape EU migrant citizens' access to social benefits and services - and thus their substantive social rights. Specifically, the thesis argues that (1) certain structures of welfare systems (which become evident through a bottom-up study of supra-national social rights), and (2) the entrepreneurship of local actors, are crucial to understanding how formal rights of EU migrant citizens translate into substantive ones.
Supervisor: Seeleib-Kaiser, Martin Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; Scatchered European Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political Science ; Social policy ; European Union ; social rights ; migration ; EU citizenship