Those Who Came and Those Who Left: The territorial politics of migration in Scotland and Catalonia
Title: Those Who Came and Those Who Left: The territorial politics of migration in Scotland and Catalonia
Author: ARRIGHI, Jean-Thomas
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
Whilst minority nationalism and migration have been intensely studied in relative isolation from one another, research examining their mutual relationship is still scarce. This dissertation aims to fill this gap in the literature by exploring how migration politics are being fought over not only across society but also across territory in two well-researched cases of protracted nationalist mobilisation, Catalonia and Scotland. It meets three objectives: First, it introduces a theoretical framework accounting for sub-state elites’ and administrations’ boundary-making strategies in relation to immigrants and emigrants. Second, it systematically compares the evolution of boundary-making strategies in Catalonia and Scotland, prior to and after the establishment of self-governing institutions. Third, it identifies the circumstances under which nationalists came to adopt a predominantly territorial conception of national membership, privileging the inclusion of immigrants over that of emigrant populations. The main hypothesis states that minority nationalists have a vested interest in emphasizing residency as a significant criterion of national membership irrespectively of one’s place of birth and degree of attachment to the land in order to enhance their internal and external legitimacy. In addition, the location of the membership boundary depends upon the relative openness of the Territorial Opportunity Structure, which comprises three dimensions: the formal distribution of migration-related competencies, the initial boundary and its implications for later developments, and the dynamics of party competition at sub-state level. The empirical analysis shows that the attitudes of political elites in Scotland and Catalonia towards immigrants and emigrants have been shifting through time. This illustrates how nations are constantly constructed and reconstructed through processes of boundary-building, in a context also shaped by state-wide nationalism. The findings corroborate to a considerable extent the main hypothesis and show that dynamics of party competition have played a greater role in affecting boundary-making strategies in relation to immigrants and emigrants than historical path dependencies or the formal distribution of competencies.
Defence date: 9 February 2012; Examining Board: Prof. Rainer Bauböck, EUI (Supervisor) ; Prof. Michael Keating, EUI (Co-supervisor) ; Dr Nicola McEwen, University of Edinburgh ; Prof. Andreas Wimmer, UCLA
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