Redrawing the Boundaries of Membership: Labor Migrants in the UN Convention on Migrant Workers, NAFTA, and the European Union
ForfatterAnderson, Joseph Trawicki
Labor migrants occupy an indeterminate place in the rights regimes of nation-states. Even when engaged in documented movements, labor migrants enjoy a set of rights more limited than those of citizens. This dissertation reviews three international legal agreements, the UN Convention on Migrant Workers, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the European Union (EU) in order to understand how they influence where this boundary between sets of rights is drawn. In examining this issue, this dissertation will draw on existing theory about the boundary, nature, and obligations of citizenship rights. From there, it will explore the influences of these three international agreements using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. While recognizing the continuing importance of the nation-state, new spaces of participation and action will also be examined, in particular looking at the rise of global cities in the context of NAFTA, and the emergence of supranational structures in the case of the EU. Ultimately, the research suggests that while labor migrants are afforded some rights, the provision of ‘negative rights,’ focusing on the protection from harm are dominant. Social, political, and economic rights remain more complicated, while rights related to direct economic support are generally the most contested. New spaces of inclusion and participation can help individuals enact certain aspects of citizenship, however these protections remain less robust than formal citizenship. Finally, decisions about how to draw the boundaries of citizenship as form of “social closure” (Brubaker 1992), remain unclear as states struggle to define who is included and who is not.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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