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A critical discourse analysis of the policy formation process of the 2009 action programme on skilled labour migration in Germany

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posted on 14.06.2012, 14:26 by Jan Semmelroggen
This thesis analyzes the political discourse on skilled labour migration in Germany between 2005 and 2009 and investigates how and why skilled labour migration polices are negotiated in the Federal Republic of Germany. In particular the thesis highlights the significance of underlying policy maker motives within the policy formation process of Germany s 2009 Action Programme on Skilled Labour Migration as well as their ultimate imprint on the legislation. The critical discourse analysis of parliamentary debate in Germany between 2005 and 2009 in conjunction with interviews with relevant national policy makers, institutional actors, labour market stakeholder, and independent policy advisors reveals that there is a significant discrepancy between policy maker intent in regards to skilled labour migration legislation and the stated intent of the 2009 Action Programme. While the stated aim of the Action Programme is to facilitate and promote skilled labour migration to Germany, the analysis of relevant political debate and the stakeholder interviews reveals that German policy makers are primarily motivated to protect and promote preferential labour market access for domestic workers while at the same time restricting undesired labour migration to Germany. As a result, the policy measures of the 2009 Action Programme on Skilled Labour Migration have a strong protectionist and restrictionist emphasis. Moreover, the thesis reveals that the complex and multilayered power-negotiations over skilled labour migration legislation between the various policy makers, institutional actors, and labour market stakeholders are largely shaped and framed by domestic political considerations. Notwithstanding the widely acknowledged global competition over skilled workers and the need for German labour market to maintain competitive within the global economy, immigration policy makers in Germany are primarily motivated by factors that are firmly embedded within the national political sphere and that aim to control, limit, and restrict territorial access of foreign workers into the national labour market. This in turn highlights the need for migration scholars to reposition and re-conceptualize the role of the nation-state and as an active agent in shaping international labour migration flows.



  • Social Sciences


  • Geography and Environment


© Jan Semmelroggen

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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