Migration's effect on state sovereignty : an exploration of the Italian experience
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Migration is a topic of increasing significance in the field of international relations. Migration challenges state sovereignty in new ways, and there is therefore a need for more research on the issue. The migration issue is especially relevant considering the recent migration crisis in Europe which peaked in numbers in 2015. Italy is a highly relevant case when researching such issues because of its location, where it is in practice governing one of the European Union’s outer borders. This thesis aims to explore how Italy’s current migration policies affect its state sovereignty. The thesis will be building on existing theories and concepts related to state sovereignty, migration, securitization and human rights. These theories and concepts are essential for understanding the complexity of this transnational issue as there are two main aspects to consider: protection of state and the human rights of migrants. The findings in this thesis indicate that there is increasing scepticism towards migrants in Italy, while also showing that Italian migration policies have recently become stricter. An additional observation is that Italy has complicated relationships with actors such as the European Union and NGOs. The main results retained from exploring the issue are that Italy’s sovereignty has been strengthened by recent policy changes, and that the country is neglecting international obligations related to human rights in favour of increasing the power over its own borders. It would be beneficial to conduct further research on migration’s effect on sovereignty, both by focusing on Italy and other European countries, to be able to find a collective European solution that has a perfect balance between the two main aspects to consider when tackling migration.