Prospective PhD idea

PhD researcher or student information


Link to website with profile:

Discipline: Political Science

Degrees BA: Humanities


Law, Economics and Management

PhD idea information

Migration and Security in European selected countries; Greece, Italy, France and Germany
Is immigration a threat?

Brief description:

The history of human settlements tells the story of the migration of humans from places to places and continents to continents. Every civilisation has seen the migration of people in one or many forms. Throughout history, migration has occurred due to incidents of conflicts, collision, and fusion of people or in the hopes of greener pastures. Advancement in any culture has commenced from the mobility of its population. Over time the modern man settled for defined countries, but sporadic migration of people continued. In the present time, most of the mass migrations occur due to the outbreak of wars or other humanitarian crisis. The year 2015 saw a mass migration of people on an unprecedented scale in European borders. About 851,319 refugees spotted at the gates of Europe with the Italy and Greece as main entry doors. That influx of migrants started in 2011 with Iraq and Afghanistan war and escalated in 2014, 2015 with the Syrian conflict. In the third quarter of 2015, Greece recorded 3,440 asylum seekers while Italy recorded 28,630. That crisis raised serious concerns over the plight of the migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and at European border borders. ‘’Images of refugee tents shrouded in the snow on the Greek islands have sparked outrage about the lack of adequate shelter, and scorn has been poured on the Greek government for keeping refugees in such miserable conditions ’’. In reaction to that humanitarian tragedy, some European countries decided to address the concern by hosting migrants. Germany and France on the top list hosted the largest number of refugees: 736,740 for Germany and 336,183 for France. Meantime, the refugee crisis management in Europe triggered huge controversies in the social and political arena. On 16 December 2016, ‘’the former CIA director under President Clinton [openly criticized] German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migrant policies, calling her country “massively overextended.” The terrorist attack in Berlin on 19 December 2016 was another opportunity for the far right-wing leader Marine Le Pen to raise voice out against migration policies in Europe “How many massacres and deaths will be necessary for our governments to stop bringing a considerable number of migrants into our countries without borders, when we know that terrorist Islamists are involved?” she asked in an official statement’’ . Hence, she urged Europe to reconsider its immigration policies. Within the country, political leaders reacted also to Angela Merkel’s migration policies. Frauke Petry from the right-wing German Populist Party criticized Merkel and called for border control. The central question that would guide the study is: is immigration a threat to Europe? The research project would focus on four main countries; two migrant entry doors in Europe Greece and Italy and two main hosting countries, France and Germany. That comparative study would discuss the link that some stakeholders attempt to establish between terrorism/security and immigration. The research project scrutinizes both the negative and positive perceptions of immigration and how policies were impacted. Additionally, the project would discuss‘’ State sovereignty, among which are the right to protect borders, to confer nationality, to admit and expel foreigners, to combat trafficking and smuggling and to safeguard national security ‘’. Between 2014 and 2016, the EU consolidated its cooperation with the government of Sudan to stem the flow of migrants in Europe ’’. In December 2016 the Italian interior Minister Marco Minniti headed to Tripoli in order to establish cooperation ties with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Marco and the GNA chairperson Al-Sarraj agreed to strengthen their cooperation on fighting terrorism, irregular migration and human trafficking. The study would also shed light on the externalization and internationalization of migration control in particular EU-African migration cooperation. The study will be a contribution to better understand the phenomenon and try to provide some elements of response to questions raised.


The research study will employ realism paradigm. Realism paradigm is the combination of both positivism and interpretivism paradigm. This paradigm is also known as political realism in the context of international relation research. This paradigm takes the state as the most important actor (Walt, 1997). As the present study is based upon international relation and various states have an active role in the research process, realism paradigm is selected for conduction of research study. For this present research, both qualitative and quantitative data approach will be employed. Both primary and secondary data will be collected for the study. Research papers, journals, articles and various documents will be assessed for secondary data. For primary data, two sets of questionnaires will be prepared. One set of questions will be for quantitative questionnaire and the other set will carry qualitative questions. Both the sets of the questionnaire will be distributed among the respondents. For this study, the population is refugees, People working in Government offices dealing with refugee issues, academic and non-academic experts on the research subject area, doctors and social workers working for refugees in the four host countries. The countries are Greece, Germany, Italy and France. The representative sample will be selected through a random sampling method. The representative sample will include 25 people working in The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), Germany, 500 legal and undocumented refugee immigrants of four countries, 20 experts on the research subjects of four host countries, and 20 employees of The Office French of the protection of refugees and stateless persons. Two interviews will be there in this research. One interview will be with the Director of The Centre of reception of applicants for asylum in France. The other interview will be with Dr Romual Likibi of The Centre of reception of applicants for asylum in France. The collected data will be analysed using various statistical tests through SPSS software.

Keywords: Border and Migration Control, Dublin Regulation, EU external governance, EU migration and asylum policy, EU Trafficking Directive, European Border and Coast Guard, European Migration and Asylum Law, European Union Law, Extraterritorial Border Control, Frontex; European Border and Coast Guard; border management; EU agencies;search and rescue at sea; external relations of the EU agencies, Germany, Greece, hate crime, Immigration, Irregular Migration, Italian Asylum and Migration Law, lisbon treaty, Mobility Partnership, European Migration Policy, External Dimension, Non-refoulement-International Law-Human Rights-Bilateral Relations-Libya-Bilateral Treaties-, populism, racism, Security, Terrorism, the Treaty of Lisbon, France

Potential language(s) of writing: English

Added to catalogue on: 22-05-2019

Additional information:

PROFILE Graduated from the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at University of Nantes, France, Daniel Ozoukou is a Political Analyst who published articles widely on peace, security and governance with several published articles. In 2008, he received an award from AfriMAP (Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project) for a research paper. Ozoukou belongs to scientific societies including the young researchers in international law network in France and the Société québécoise de Droit international. Daniel Ozoukou collaborated with the think tank “Peace Direct” (UK) and his opinion are accessible online.