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Constructing Migrants’ Rights

Constructing Migrants’ Rights

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Published by Kelsey Jost-Creegan
Constructing Migrants’ Rights: Shifting Paradigms and Human Rights Innovations in Argentine Migration and Refugee Legislation

Undergraduate Honors Thesis in Global Studies
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Author: Kelsey Jost-Creegan


This thesis examines the passage of Migration Law 25.871 (2004) and Refugee Law 26.165 (2006) in Argentina. These laws marked a sharp paradigm shift in Argentina’s migration policy, moving away from a migration law crafted in the paradigm of national security under the 1976 – 1983 dictatorship towards these new laws centered on a human rights discourse. The project aimed to identify the international and domestic factors that influenced this incorporation of a human rights discourse, and to determine if the socialization of human rights norms may lead states not only to adopt international norms, but also to appropriate the human rights discourse and apply it to internal policy not yet regulated on the international scale. In light of Argentina’s authoritarian past, the research also examined whether ‘political learning;’ may have played a specific role in this case.

The investigation consisted of interviews with politicians, state bureaucrats, civil society members and academics. Findings indicate that domestic factors were more significant than international factors, debunking top-down models of the diffusion of human rights discourse. The research reveals that a twenty-year fight on the part of civil society organizations was the key impetus in ultimately a change in law. These groups used themes of history and conceptions of national identity as rhetorical tools in constructing arguments for a change. This long-term effort was ultimately successful, however, only because of the particular political climate created by the 2001 economic crisis. Of particular import were the effects that the crisis had in shaking up the political status quo and thereby opening the way for the election of Nestór Kirchner, whose administration brought an agenda of human rights and Latin American regionalism.
Constructing Migrants’ Rights: Shifting Paradigms and Human Rights Innovations in Argentine Migration and Refugee Legislation

Undergraduate Honors Thesis in Global Studies
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Author: Kelsey Jost-Creegan


This thesis examines the passage of Migration Law 25.871 (2004) and Refugee Law 26.165 (2006) in Argentina. These laws marked a sharp paradigm shift in Argentina’s migration policy, moving away from a migration law crafted in the paradigm of national security under the 1976 – 1983 dictatorship towards these new laws centered on a human rights discourse. The project aimed to identify the international and domestic factors that influenced this incorporation of a human rights discourse, and to determine if the socialization of human rights norms may lead states not only to adopt international norms, but also to appropriate the human rights discourse and apply it to internal policy not yet regulated on the international scale. In light of Argentina’s authoritarian past, the research also examined whether ‘political learning;’ may have played a specific role in this case.

The investigation consisted of interviews with politicians, state bureaucrats, civil society members and academics. Findings indicate that domestic factors were more significant than international factors, debunking top-down models of the diffusion of human rights discourse. The research reveals that a twenty-year fight on the part of civil society organizations was the key impetus in ultimately a change in law. These groups used themes of history and conceptions of national identity as rhetorical tools in constructing arguments for a change. This long-term effort was ultimately successful, however, only because of the particular political climate created by the 2001 economic crisis. Of particular import were the effects that the crisis had in shaking up the political status quo and thereby opening the way for the election of Nestór Kirchner, whose administration brought an agenda of human rights and Latin American regionalism.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Kelsey Jost-Creegan on May 02, 2013
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05/14/2014

 
!!
Constructing+Migrants’+Rights++++++++++++++++++++++
Shifting(Paradigms(and(Human(Rights(Innovations(in(Argentine(Migration(and(Refugee(Legislation
+
Undergraduate*Honors*Thesis,*Global*Studies**
University*of*North*Carolina*at*Chapel*Hill*
Author:
+Kelsey+Jost6Creegan+++
Abstract:
+This+thesis+examines+the+passage+of+Migration+Law+25.871+&+Refugee+Law+2.15+in+Argentina.+These+laws+marked+a+sharp+paradigm+shift+in+Argentina’s+migration+policy,+moving+away+from+a+policy+crafted+in+the+paradigm+of+national+security+under+the+197+–+1983+dictatorship+towards+one+centered+on+a+human+rights+discourse.+This+project+aimed+to+identify+the+international+and+domestic+factors+that+influenced+this+incorporation+of+a+human+rights+discourse,+and+to+determine+if+the+socialization+of+human+rights+norms+may+lead+states+not+only+to+adopt+international+norms,+but+also+to+appropriate+the+human+rights+discourse+and+apply+it+to+internal+policy+not+yet+regulated+on+the+international+scale.+In+light+of+Argentina’s+authoritarian+past,+the+research+also+examined+whether+‘political+learning;’+may+have+played+a+specific+role+in+this+case.++The+investigation+consisted+of+interviews+with+government+representatives,+civil+society+members+&+academics.+Findings+indicate+that+domestic+factors+were+more+significant+than+international+factors,+debunking+top6down+models+of+the+diffusion+of+human+rights+discourse.+The+research+reveals+that+a+twenty6year+fight+on+the+part+of+civil+society+organizations+was+the+key+impetus+in+ultimately+provoking+a+change+in+law.+These+groups+used+themes+of+history+and+conceptions+of+national+identity+as+rhetorical+tools+in+constructing+arguments+for+a+change.+This+long6term+effort+was+ultimately+successful,+however,+only+because+of+the+particular+political+climate+created+by+the+2001+economic+crisis.+Of+particular+import+were+the+effects+that+the+crisis+had+in+shaking+up+the+political+status+quo+&+thereby+opening+the+way+for+the+election+of+Nestór+Kirchner,+whose+administration+brought+an+agenda+of+human+rights+and+Latin+American+regionalism.++
!
 
Kelsey Jost-CreeganSenior Honors ThesisCurriculum in Global Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
!1!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
!....................................................................................................................!2
!
ABBREVIATIONS
!..................................................................................................................................!4
!
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
!.........................................................................................................!5
!
CHAPTER 2: BACKGROUND
!.........................................................................................................!14
!
A
RGENTINE
P
OLITICAL
C
ONTEXT
!................................................................................................................!14
!
A
UTHORITARIANISM AND
D
EMOCRACY IN THE
20
TH
 
C
ENTURY
!..............................................................!18
!
H
ISTORICAL
F
ACTORS
:
 
N
EOLIBERAL
EFORM AND
E
CONOMIC
C
RISIS
!......................................!21
!
M
IGRATION AND
M
IGRATION
P
OLICY IN
A
RGENTINA
!.........................................................................!26
!
R
EFUGEE!
L
AW
!..........................................................................................................................................................!40
!
T
HE
F
ORMATION OF
A
 
L
AW
!...............................................................................................................................!41
!
CHAPTER 3: LITERATURE REVIEW
!..........................................................................................!43
!
H
UMAN
IGHTS AND
S
TATE
S
OVEREIGNTY
!.................................................................................................!44
!
H
UMAN RIGHTS IN
L
ATIN
A
MERICA
!................................................................................................................!51
!
H
UMAN RIGHTS IN
A
RGENTINA
!........................................................................................................................!54
!
M
IGRANTS
IGHTS AS
H
UMAN
IGHTS
:
 
T
HE
 N
EXT
F
RONTIER 
?
!............................................................!62
!
CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH METHODS
!..........................................................................................!70
!
ESEARCH
P
ARAMETERS
!.................................................................................................................................!70
!
 Location
!....................................................................................................................................................................!70
!
Timeline
!....................................................................................................................................................................!72
!
S
TUDY
!.......................................................................................................................................................................!73
!
 Participants
!.............................................................................................................................................................!73
!
 Interview format 
!.....................................................................................................................................................!74
!
 Interview Questions
!..............................................................................................................................................!75 
!
 Additional Research
!.............................................................................................................................................!76
!
 Post-Field Work and Analysis
!..........................................................................................................................!77 
!
CHAPTER 5: FINDINGS
!....................................................................................................................!78
!
A
CTION AND STRENGTH OF NONGOVERNMENTAL ACTORS
!......................................................................!79
!
H
ISTORY AND
C
ONCEPTS OF
I
DENTITY
!..........................................................................................................!95
!
T
IMING AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT
!..............................................................................................................!106
!
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS
!.......................................................................................................!131
!
APPENDICES
!......................................................................................................................................!138
!
A
PPENDIX
1
!.........................................................................................................................................................!138
!
A
PPENDIX
2
!.........................................................................................................................................................!143
!
 A
PPENDIX!
3
!..........................................................................................................................................................!144
!
A
PPENDIX
4
!.........................................................................................................................................................!146
!
BIBLIOGRAPHY
!...............................................................................................................................!150
!
 

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