Image credit: Australian Associated Press 2023. Migrants gather between Pazarkule border gate, Edirne, Turkey, and Kastanies border gate, Evros, as they try to enter Greece, on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Saturday that his country’s borders with Europe were open, as thousands of refugees gathered at the frontier with Greece. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Abstract: The emerging international relations literature on states’ migration diplomacy traditionally centres on how cross-border mobility affects, and is affected by, governmental foreign policy strategies. Yet, little attention has been paid to strategic interactions between domestic political priorities, bilateral foreign policy negotiations, and supranational organisations, particularly the European Union. In this talk, I draw inspiration from Robert Putnam’s work on the entanglement of domestic and international politics and put forth a theorisation of migration diplomacy as a three-level game. Beyond the importance of intergovernmental negotiations, I propose that migration diplomacy actors absorb domestic-level concerns as well as supranational pressures. I test this framework on the recent border crisis between Greece and Turkey in February/March 2020, and identify how both Greek and Turkish use of migration diplomacy was shaped by three sets of policy goals: domestic, international, and supranational. I build on this further by looking back at how cross-border mobility became implicated at the long, turbulent history of Greek-Turkish relations. I conclude with a discussion of how such a framework can shed valuable light on border crises and the interplay between migration and foreign policymaking in the Eastern Mediterranean, and beyond.
Gerasimos Tsourapas is the BSA’s Early Career Fellow and Professor of International Relations at University of Glasgow.
Hybrid lecture, 4pm (UK) / 6pm Greece
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