'A disempowering system': democratic practices militating against the realisation of the human rights of irregular migrants in Malta

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'A disempowering system': democratic practices militating against the realisation of the human rights of irregular migrants in Malta

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title 'A disempowering system': democratic practices militating against the realisation of the human rights of irregular migrants in Malta
Author(s) DeBono, Daniela
Date 2013
English abstract
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviews with irregular migrants and policy-makers in Malta, this paper shows how a democratic system, in practice, can work against the realisation of the human rights of irregular migrants. The article focuses on two aspects considered critical to democracy: firstly, the vertical tension between elected politicians in government and the electorate; and, secondly, the dynamics of bureaucratic institutions. Overall, by revealing the tensions between formal democracy and substantive democracy, or democracy in practice, I argue that a cultural approach to democracy is necessary to understand the political system as a ‘field of practices’ where human rights are not automatically upheld but, just like other values, continually negotiated and compromised. The outcome for irregular migrants in Malta is disempowerment and difficulties in accessing the most basic human rights, ironically by means of a political system originally designed to empower people.
Link https://www.academia.edu/6292960/DeBono_D._A_Disempowering_System_Democratic_Practices_Militating_Against_the_Realisation_of_Human_Rights_of_Irregular_Migrants_in_Malta_._In_Journal_of_Mediterranean_Studies_Vol._22_No._1_2013 (external link to publication)
Publisher University of Malta
Host/Issue Journal of Mediterranean Studies;1
Volume 22
ISSN 1016-3476
Pages 171-190
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) irregular migration
southern europe
human rights
democracy
democratic practices
Malta
bureaucracy
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::LAW/JURISPRUDENCE
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/17595 (link to this page)

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