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Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Thursday, November 7, 20194:00PM - 6:00PMExternal Event, Innis Town Hall
2 Sussex Avenue
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Why do states that confront comparable immigration challenges oftentimes adopt remarkably different policy solutions? Why does immigration policy change radically at certain points in time, whilst showing striking resilience at others? This talk presents a theoretical framework for the comparative study of immigration policy making. I argue the capacity of policy makers to turn their immigration preferences into policy is contingent on three types of political insulation. Whereas popular insulation will shield policy makers from public pressure for policy restrictionism, interest group insulation and diplomatic insulation are necessary if policy makers are to enjoy reprieve from demands by domestic lobbies and foreign governments for policy liberalization. Because each type of insulation differs across institutional arenas, immigration policy choices will vary not only across countries but, in contexts where actors can manipulate the institutional locus of policy making, also over time.
Antje Ellermann is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institute for European Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. She is also the founder and Co-lead of the UBC Migration Research Excellence Cluster. Professor Ellermann’s research focuses on the politics of migration and citizenship in liberal democracies. Her book States Against Migrants: Deportation in Germany and the United States (2009) was published with Cambridge University Press. Her work has also appeared in World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Politics & Society, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and West European Politics. Professor Ellermann’s lecture draws from a book manuscript she is completing that theorizes the politics of immigration policy making in liberal democracies. The project is based on case studies of key episodes of immigration reform in Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and the United States from the 1950s to the present.


Prof. Antje Ellermann
University of British Columbia

Main Sponsor

Global Migration Lab


Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

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