Challenges of the EU-Turkey non-refoulement scheme

Anne Farrow wins Master Thesis award from the Erasmus Migration & Diversity Institute

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) alumna Anna Farrow is the winner of this year's best master thesis awarded by the Erasmus Migration & Diversity Institute (EMDI).

Anna Farrow, who graduated from ISS in 2017 with an MA in Development Studies (Human Rights, Gender and Conflict: Social Justice Perspectives major), received her award on 24 September 2018 at the first EMDI seminar of 2018-9 at the Erasmus University, Main Campus.

About the thesis

In her thesis, entitled 'EU Norms in crisis: challenges of the 1:1 scheme of the EU-Turkey Statement for non-refoulement', Anna Farrow investigates EU migration policies with third countries, using the EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016, as the main case study. She explores the normative changes in EU migration policies, in particular looking at human rights norms such as the Geneva Convention and non-refoulement, that protect the rights and well-being of refugees.

Shifting norms in times of crisis

She suggests that norms are not as resilient in times of ‘crisis’ in the EU as human rights norms and standards might imply. Rather, norms slowly shift, undergoing normative changes, as laws and contexts are modified and reformulated following tactical concessions and strategic decision making in response to perceived crisis conditions. This could undermine the EU’s claimed status as a normative actor and soft power.

Download the thesis below

'An unusual and courageous piece of writing'

The EDMI award recognizes master theses that provide innovative perspectives on migration and diversity, use a sound methodology, and make an excellent contribution to academic literature.

In their endorsement of Anna's thesis, her supevisers, Shyamika Smits Jayasundara and Helen Hintjens, stated; 'Overall the thesis makes an important and timely contribution to the field of migration studies. It addresses an immediately relevant topic that concerns many people in the EU public and in EU policy circles, and it is very brave of the student to take this issue up as a European citizen. This student has shown a great deal of knowledge of the quite challenging concepts and theories used in the thesis. They are presented very competently and readably, and current data are derived from original sources. As an interdisciplinary study combining theoretical perspectives from Political Economy, International Relations, Development Studies and Human Rights, this is an impressive achievement. Both in terms of presentation and content, the thesis is excellent.'