Political Science ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-23-2021


In this dissertation I ask when and how states employ migration diplomacy – and its coercive and cooperative variants – during the European Migration Crisis, 2014-2017. I argue that states use migration diplomacy to minimize the costs of migration crises and are more likely to use migration diplomacy when either the incurred or anticipated costs of migration crises are greater, when they are less powerful, and when anti-migrant domestic political pressures are higher. I use a multimethod approach to answer my questions. Results from my multivariate logistic regressions support my expectation that states are more likely to engage in migration diplomacy when the incurred or anticipated costs, in terms of migrant arrivals, are higher. I find some evidence that less powerful states are more likely to engage in migration diplomacy. To understand how states employ migration diplomacy, I use a combination of text analysis methods and a case study of the 2016 EU Turkey Deal. In my text analysis, I examine the semantic underpinnings of coercive and cooperative variants of migration diplomacy and how they are distinguished. I find that coercive migration diplomacy is often characterized by state actions, while cooperative migration diplomacy is often identified by references to cooperative settings. I demonstrate that coercive and cooperative variants are sometimes indistinguishable and occur with greater frequency than the existing literature would indicate. In my case study, I challenge the common characterization of Turkey's approach as coercive, demonstrating that Turkey engaged in a combination of coercive and cooperative migration diplomacy.

Degree Name

Political Science

Level of Degree


Department Name

Political Science

First Committee Member (Chair)

William Stanley

Second Committee Member

Christopher Butler

Third Committee Member

Cassy Dorff

Fourth Committee Member

Leanne Powner




International relations, Migration, Diplomacy, Refugees, Multi-method, Europe

Document Type