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European integration and immigration policy, French and British experiences, 1976-1992

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This paper examines the making of immigration policy in France and Britain during the 1980s. More  specifically, it examines whether and how European developments fed back into domestic immigration policy. Beginning in the late 1970s and carrying throughout the 1980s, there was a burst of activity at the European level, from the informal, intergovernmental cooperation between interior ministers of the TREVI group; to the Schengen agreements, which abolished internal borders for participating countries; to Maastricht, which incorporated developments of the previous decade into expanded and formalized EU structures.  What, historically, have France and Britain’s priorities regarding immigration been? How is immigration policy made, given that it must respond to contrary imperatives, even within government? Does modern immigration policy reflect Europe’s democratic deficit? How well have states ever been able to implement immigration policy? If poorly, what function does declaring an immigration policy serve? 

This talk is part of the Graduate Workshops in Economic and Social History series.

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