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Governing Irregular Migration: Logics and Practices in Spanish Immigration Policy

Governing Irregular Migration: Logics and Practices in Spanish Immigration Policy

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Title: Governing Irregular Migration: Logics and Practices in Spanish Immigration Policy
Author: Moffette, David
Abstract: Since the first substantive changes to Spanish immigration laws in the 1980s, immigration to Spain and the policies designed to govern it have changed greatly. The pace of this continuous transformation has recently slowed down, offering a good opportunity to reflect on the ways in which irregular migration has been governed over time. Taking stock of more than three decades of debates in the Spanish Congress, laws, policy documents, interview findings and practices, this dissertation offers a sociological analysis of the messy process of immigration governance in a border country of the European Union.

The dissertation starts by analyzing the early problematizations of irregular migration in Spain, understood as the result of discursive and non-discursive practices that provide specific ways of thinking about and acting upon objects. Complicating the assumption that policy shifts are a straightforward result of changes in the political orientation of ruling parties, the dissertation traces the existence of three intersecting sets of logics and practices that have shaped Spanish immigration policy over time: (1) culturalization: a set of logics and practices intimately tied to the history of Spanish colonialism and governing migrants as cultural subjects; (2) labouralization: a set of logics and practices that attempt to manage labour migration flows and frame irregular migrants as workers who contribute to the national labour market; and (3) securitization: a set of logics and practices focused on the defence of state sovereignty, the prevention of irregular entry and the framing of irregular migrants as potential threats.

The organization of heterogeneous practices into three broad categories acts as a heuristic device to show how various complementary and at times contradictory logics and practices work together to create a practical regime of migration governance based on a long probationary period during which irregular migrants are scrutinized and policed. Ultimately, this dissertation posits the existence in Spain of a regime governing immigration through probation. This regime entails the rescaling of bordering practices across space and time, the deployment of a space of legal liminality in which irregular migrants are kept, and the use of conditionality and discretion in the assessment of desirability.
Subject: Sociology
Criminology
Political Science
Keywords: Border
Bordering
Borderwork
Ceuta
Conditionality
Criminalization
Deportation
Detention
European Union
Foucault
Governmentality
Hispanidad
Immigration
Liminality
Law
Melilla
Police
Policy
Probation
Race
Securitization
Schengen
Spain
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/30092
Supervisor: Pratt, Anna C.
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Sociology
Exam date: 2015-05-01
Publish on: 2015-08-28

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