The Fat is in the Fire: Migration as a Diplomatic Tool within Libya and Tunisia
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The Central Mediterranean route mainly from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and Malta is the deadliest migratory route. Not only do many migrants and refugees pass away through their efforts to reach EU shores, but also with regards to their hosting in the North African countries many dangers await their fate. These dangers include arbitrary detention and inhumane conditions in detention centres in Tunisia, and possible violence, starvation, torture, rape and even slavery in Libya. Evidently, the refugee and migrant populations in both countries have a lack of protection and rights. Thus, in this thesis, it will be investigated how the development of migration and asylum policy in both countries after the Arab Spring can be explained. Through historical and causal narrative, it will be demonstrated that migration and asylum policy within both countries has followed a path-dependent trajectory. Whereas the Arab Spring and subsequent political transition in both countries could have pushed the countries to establish a new form of migration management. It will be demonstrated that due to political polarization the practice of the dictatorial regimes in which migration was used as a diplomatic tool was reinforced. Through the analysis of migration and asylum policy both before and after the Arab Spring the study aims at filling the historiographic gap with regards to migration and asylum policy, as well as offer an explanation for the neglect of refugees and migrants within both countries which could lead to possible prevention.