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The discursive legitimation of asylum policies in Greece and Ireland

Karamanidou, E. (2009). The discursive legitimation of asylum policies in Greece and Ireland. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis explores the legitimation strategies employed by political actors in Greece and Ireland in asylum policy. The aim of the thesis is to study in comparative perspective the factors that shape the formulation of discourses on asylum in two countries with similar migration histories, as well as a number of similarities and differences in terms of socio-political and economic organisation. Further, the thesis aims at examining the reproduction of the nation state and national identities through the legitimation of asylum policy. It focuses on the period between 1996 and 2004, when the immigration and refugee laws and policies of the two states experienced significant changes. I examine the dominant themes, linguistic features, rhetorical and argumentative strategies employed by political actors, using Critical Discourse Analysis supplemented by the use of NVivo software as a method for the analysis of documents containing political discourse. The analysis also aims at recording patterns of change in the themes entailed in the legitimation strategies over the designated period. The thesis concludes that the legitimation strategies and discourses employed in the context of each country are influenced by the interaction of different contexts. They are shaped by already existing domestic discourses of immigration, asylum and national identity, and by the histories of migration of the two countries. Equally, they are influenced of European Union policies and discourses on the legitimation of policies at domestic level, as well as by international frameworks of protection. The specific themes that dominate legitimation strategies in the two countries should be seen as outcomes of the interaction between these contexts. Furthermore, it is argued that long-standing discourses regarding the state and the national community are both challenged and reproduced through the legitimation of asylum policies.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
Doctoral Theses
School of Policy & Global Affairs > School of Policy & Global Affairs Doctoral Theses
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