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Citizens, Residents, and Guest Workers: A Transatlantic Analysis of Immigrant Rights and Political Cleavages

Cormack Patton, Sarah J. (2015) Citizens, Residents, and Guest Workers: A Transatlantic Analysis of Immigrant Rights and Political Cleavages. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The fundamental argument of this dissertation is that migrant rights are central to understanding the politics of immigration: by defining what migrants can or cannot do in the receiving state, the bundle of rights granted to migrants conditions the effect that migrants have on domestic groups’ interests and therefore which societal groups will favor or oppose immigration liberalization. Increasing migrant rights increases the market, fiscal, and cultural costs of immigration to the right, but decreases the market costs and generates political and cultural benefits to the left. As a result, migrant rights condition preferences over immigration – such that the right (left) should favor (oppose) the admission of migrants with few rights and oppose (favor) the admission of migrants with expansive rights – and immigration policy outcomes – such that immigration reform will focus on increasing the admission of migrants with a limited (broad) set of rights when the right (left) is in government. These policy outcomes will vary in predictable ways under divided government and when policymakers are constrained with respect to the provision of migrant rights.

In the first three chapters, I present the puzzle that motivates my project, my critique of the extant literature, my conceptualization of migrant rights as defining societal membership, and the theoretical framework that links migrant rights, societal interests, and immigration policy outcomes. In the following four chapters, I test the expectations of the theoretical chapter in the United States and across the European Union. The first two empirical chapters consider the policy preferences of political actors and immigration policy outcomes in the United States. The second two empirical chapters do so across the European Union. In the concluding chapter, I situate the results of the empirical analysis in the contemporary context, highlight some of the implications for scholarship in both political economy and immigration politics, and consider the compatibility of extending and withholding rights in a liberal democratic society.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cormack Patton, Sarah J.sjp64@pitt.eduSJP640000-0001-8897-1546
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHays, Jude C.jch61@pitt.eduJCH61
Committee MemberAlexiadou, Despinadalexiad@pitt.eduDALEXIAD
Committee MemberGoodhart, Michael E.goodhart@pitt.eduGOODHART
Committee MemberPeters, B. Guybgpeters@pitt.eduBGPETERS
Committee MemberRudra,
Date: 27 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 May 2015
Approval Date: 27 September 2015
Submission Date: 9 July 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 223
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Economy Immigration Rights Culture European Union United States Political Parties Representation Political Interests
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2015 00:02
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:29


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