• Citizenship, Migration, and the Nation–State: Exploring UK Policy Responses to Romanian and Bulgarian Migration

    Author: Jenny Yang
    Institution: Queen's University (Canada)
    Year of publication: 2014
    Source: Show
    Pages: 64–83
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/43/ppsy2014004.pdf

    Questions of citizenship and nationhood have increasingly gained prominence given the internationalisation of employment, especially with respect to the free movement of workers within the EU. Scholar Rogers Brubaker has suggested that an absence of a strong identity as a nationstate and the lack of an established national citizenship have contributed to “the confused and bitter politics of immigration and citizenship during the last quarter-century” in Britain. This legacy continues to this day. For instance, on the fi rst of January 2014, migration and employment restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians were lift ed, provoking mass public outcry in the UK. In a recent poll, three quarters of respondents expressed concern about the possible infl ux of Romanians and Bulgarian migrants. Playing on populist fears, London mayor Boris Johnson quipped: “We can do nothing to stop the entire population of Transylvania – charming though most of them may be – from trying to pitch camp at Marble Arch”. British ministers have even considered launching a negative publicity campaign in Bulgaria and Romania to dissuade migrants, highlighting the dreary weather and lack of job opportunities in Britain.

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