• The European Union and the Politics of Migration: An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Intersections of Migration, Citizenship and Statelessness

      Williams, Paul; Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
      In 2016, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) recorded that 5,096 people died attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe. So far this has been the peak in the total number of deaths. However, the journey has become more dangerous, as the UNHCR reported that in 2018, 1 out of every 18 people who crossed the Mediterranean died, an increase from 2017, which saw 1 out of every 42 people that crossed the Mediterranean dying. The Migration Crisis on Europe’s southern border is only one aspect of a politics of migration that is a fundamental characteristic of the European Union (EU) and its right of the free movement of peoples. Rather than being understood as a contemporary development, this dissertation argues that the EU entails a crisis of the movement of peoples whose complexity and multi-faceted nature can be understand by going back to Hannah Arendt’s theoretical analysis of the inter- and post-war periods. This dissertation makes the case that the European Union and its Member States are struggling to resolve problems of migration (the social and political inclusion of migrants) which require us to draw on multiple theoretical and political frameworks of understanding that place the issues of migration and statelessness at the centre of the discussion. This dissertation presents an interdisciplinary analysis of a larger migration crisis that speaks to (and threatens) the heart of the project of European integration, from the integration of national economic sectors within a coal and steel community after the Second World War to a supranational political community, which includes transnational Union citizenship and the free movement of peoples. This dissertation attempts to forge new avenues of discussion concerning European integration and issues of social and political exclusion by highlighting the situation of the Roma (as migrants with Union citizenship). The experience of the Roma in Europe highlights the ongoing crisis, on a practical and theoretical level, of ‘statelessness’, a situation depicted by Arendt and re-formulated by thinkers like Jürgen Habermas and Rosi Braidotti. It is a goal of this dissertation to develop new angles in which academics and political actors can analyze the intersections of migration, citizenship and the issue of statelessness in the 21st century, both on theoretical grounds and in practical discussions of alleviating social and political discrimination and exclusion.