The Gap Between Rhetoric And Reality Essay

1434 Words Oct 2nd, 2015 6 Pages
Literature Review

Many theorists have addressed the ‘gap’ between rhetoric and reality in migration policy, leading to Cornelius’ theory of a ‘gap hypothesis’ (Cornelius: 1994). Cornelius examines the factors that drives politicians tough talk on immigration policy, while remaining powerless to change the outcomes of it. They explain that there is a gap, but they do not explain why. There are three broad theoretical approaches to explain the gap between rhetoric and reality in immigration policy. The political economic approach is exemplified by Freeman and Zolberg, who argue that politics and economics are deeply intertwined in driving the migration process. This will eventually lead migrants to eventually become a political interest group (Zolberg: 1998). Yet, this privileges the influence of the economy, and international credit over migration policy, with the effect of undermining the political and institutional dimension of state control over markets, including the industrial, agricultural, and labour processes.

The liberal norms approach is exemplified by Castles (2004) and Joppke (1998) who explain the gap by arguing politicians are limited in implementing tough talk on migration due the liberal norms which govern advanced democracies. They see ‘liberal norms’ as the driver of immigration policy in practise, undermining political opinion. The ‘liberal norms’ approach is closely tied to the globalisation approach (Gamlen: Forthcoming). Soysal and Sassen argue that…

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