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Reinhard Schweitzer successfully defended his Doctoral thesis: The micro-management of migrant irregularity and its control: a qualitative study of the intersection of public service provision with immigration enforcement in London and Barcelona.

Reinhard Schweitzer successfully defended his Doctoral thesis: The micro-management of migrant irregularity and its control: a qualitative study of the intersection of public service provision with immigration enforcement in London and Barcelona.

Reinhard Schweitzer, a Visiting PhD candidate at GRITIM-UPF, successfully defended his Doctoral thesis in May 2018.

13.09.2018

Thesis Abstract: What happens in institutions like schools or hospitals when local service provision overlaps with the control of national borders? Such overlap is unavoidable if unlawful residents are to be excluded from mainstream public services. With this explicit aim, governments not only modify the rules and established practices of welfare provision, but also encourage the people who administer and deliver these services to incorporate the logic of immigration control into their everyday work.

To identify and better understand the concrete mechanisms that either help or hinder such internalisation of immigration control, this study systematically compares three spheres of service provision – healthcare, education and social assistance – across two distinctive legal-political environments: Barcelona/Spain and London/UK. Looking at official policies as well as their implementation, it primarily draws on a total of almost 90 semi-structured interviews with irregular residents, providers and administrators of local services, and representatives of NGOs and local government. Its innovative analytical framework helps to map and explain the significant variation in how immigration control works within different institutions and how individual actors occupying key positions in these can reproduce, contest, or readjust formal structures of inclusion and exclusion.


While the way in which national – but also sub-national – governments frame and address irregular migration plays an important role, certain sectors of welfare provision and some categories of ‘street-level-bureaucrats’ are generally more likely to internalise immigration control than others. This reflects different degrees of professionalisation and individual discretion, but also attachment to different institutional logics and objectives. Drawing on organisation theory, the study also traces institutional responses to these external demands, which are key to understand the varying degrees of internal resistance.
The thesis offers an original and empirically grounded perspective on the consequences and inherent limitations of internalised control and contributes to general debates on the effectiveness of immigration policy.

 

Click here to download the thesis.
 

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