Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Christian Sellar

Relational Format



This research seeks to understand the relationship between immigration policies enacted by both the European Union and the Italian Government and the amount of migrants entering Italy through the Mediterranean Sea. The three research questions that are addressed in this research are A) What were the key policy debates leading to the current policies regulating immigration at both European and Italian level? B) How did the policies affect migrants’ decision to move? C) How did the same policies influence and were influenced by native Italians attitude towards immigration? The methods used were a textual analysis of European Union and Italian legislative texts and a multiple linear regression with data on how many migrants are entering Italy compared to when the legislation was enacted and other variables. The research found the European Union and Italian policies were different, but not contradictory regarding international migration. European Union policies were more concerned with protection, while the status of the migrant and their path to either refugee status or citizenship was more of the priority of Italian legislation. The research also found the policies of the European Union and Italy had not successfully reduced the amount of migrants entering Italy through the Mediterranean prior to 2018. Even if the intentions of the policies were not to reduce the amount of migrants and refugees; the refugee population and asylum applications have continued to increase at a steady rate.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.



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