Supervisors: Professor Sarah Wolff (Primary Supervisor), and Dr Nivi Manchanda (Co-Supervisor)
Research Topic: EU Migration Policy Discourse and the Making of a Problem: Afghans’ Deportation as an Instance of Necro-Policy (provisional title)
The thesis is a critical policy study of informal European Union Readmission Agreements (EURAs). To a great extent, prior studies on EURAs and informal declarations failed to scrutinise policy discourses, neglecting misleading policy data. Consequently, I build on and expand Achille Mbembe’s theorisation of necropolitics to develop an alternative lens to scrutinise migration policy, namely, necro-policy. Instead of considering migration policies as ordinary tools of governance, the PhD takes into account how discrimination and exclusions are sanctioned by not only legal instruments, but also through the omission of particular information from policy texts and inaccurate discourses. The thesis’ main research question is: How can European Union deportation policies’ discourses, terminologies and assumptions be understood and explained through a necro-policy lens?
The study employs Carol Bacchi’s “What’s the Problem Represented to be?” (WPR) approach to policy analysis and aims to highlight policy discourses’ inconsistencies and to provide manifold contestations to deportations, demonstrating that discourses are plural and thus susceptible to change. Methodologically, I adopt a single case study of EU-Afghanistan deportation policies from 2016 and 2021, and on the EU’s response to the fleeing of Afghans in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover in August 2021. Beyond EU official documents, I triangulate the data with complementary IO/NGOs workers’ semi-structured interviews and reports, former Afghan government members’ public statements, news coverage and academic works from postcolonial and critical migration and border studies.
The thesis’ main finding is that EU policy discourses worked to justify and legitimise deportations from Europe and subsequent deterrence in Afghanistan. Therefore, instead of working to improve the effectiveness of policy-making, through the questioning of taken-for-granted policy discourses, the research establishes that EU deportation policies are powerful mechanisms that render particular individuals unworthy of protection, as they are discursively constructed as deportable and their lives as disposable and negotiable.
Research Interests: Critical Policy Analysis, Critical Migration and Border Studies, Human Rights, Postcolonial Theory
Previous work experience in NGOs in Palestine and Scotland as well as administrative assistant roles in Brazil.
Publications: European Union Readmission Agreements: Deportation as a Gateway to Displacement? (e-ir.info)