Interests, ideas and institutions: explaining immigration policy change in Britain, 1997-2010

Consterdine, Erica (2014) Interests, ideas and institutions: explaining immigration policy change in Britain, 1997-2010. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Under the Labour governments of 1997–2010, Britain’s economic immigration
policy was transformed from one of the most restrictive to one of the most liberal in
Europe. This development was especially puzzling given the noted path dependence of
immigration policy, as well as the absence of any public demand for liberalisation.
Based on over 40 elite interviews coupled with document and archival analysis, the
thesis sets out to explain why economic immigration policy changed so radically in
Britain between 1997 and 2010 by examining how organised interests, political parties
and the institutional context influenced policy and policy change. The thesis argues that
policy change was a result of a combined set of favourable conditions. The overarching
change in the policy framework was also not preconceived and the repercussions were
not intended. The shift in policy framing was a consequence of an accumulation of
policy reforms from different departments with different agendas. However, the logic
and idea behind the policy reforms were fundamentally underpinned by the Labour
Party’s third way framework, in particular the Party’s business-friendly approach and its
fixation with globalisation. The thesis demonstrates that immigration policymaking in
Britain is an elite-driven pursuit, that the institutional context is pertinent to explaining
policy change and that parties, and the ideas which configure them, shape immigration

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN0101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6001 Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV6201 Immigration
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 15:26
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2018 09:01

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