Small states and non-material power: creating crises and shaping migration policies in Malta, Cyprus and the European Union

Mainwaring, C. (2014) Small states and non-material power: creating crises and shaping migration policies in Malta, Cyprus and the European Union. Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, 12(2), pp. 103-122. (doi:10.1080/15562948.2014.909076)

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Abstract

This article examines how the power relationships between Malta and the Republic of Cyprus, on the one hand, and the European Union, on the other, shape irregular immigration policies in these two sovereign outpost island states in the Mediterranean. As member states on the EU's southern periphery, Malta and Cyprus have faced new institutional structures since their accession in 2004 within which they now construct their migration policies. Here, I examine how the new structures influence the discourse and logic of migration policies and politics and also how the seemingly small and powerless states affect regional policies. My contention is that, within this EU framework and with limited material power, the two outpost states have developed strategies based on nonmaterial power in order to defend and promote their interests. Such strategies have resulted in treating irregular immigration as a crisis in order to attract support. The new dynamics have thus resulted in more barriers to migration, and in negative consequences for the individual migrants and refugees on the islands. Although the strategies of Malta and Cyprus have been surprisingly successful in influencing regional migration governance, their long-term effectiveness is questionable, and their effects on the migrant and local population problematic.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mainwaring, Dr Cetta
Authors: Mainwaring, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1556-2948
ISSN (Online):1556-2956
Published Online:28 May 2014

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