Migration Diplomacy as a Three-Level Game in Greek-Turkish Relations

Hosted by the European Institute

Zoom or CBG.2.06


Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas

Dr Gerasimos Tsourapas


Dr Matilde Rosina

Dr Matilde Rosina

The emerging literature on states’ migration diplomacy traditionally centres on how cross-border mobility affects, and is affected by, governmental foreign policy strategies.

Yet, little attention has been paid to strategic interactions between domestic political priorities, bilateral foreign policy negotiations, and supranational organisations, particularly the European Union. This paper draws inspiration from Robert Putnam’s work on the entanglement of domestic and international politics and puts forth a theorisation of migration diplomacy as a three-level game. Beyond the importance of intergovernmental negotiations, we propose that migration diplomacy actors absorb domestic-level concerns as well as supranational pressures. We test this framework on the recent border crisis between Greece and Turkey in February/March 2020, and we identify how both Greek and Turkish use of migration diplomacy was shaped by three sets of policy goals: domestic, international, and supranational. We conclude with a discussion of how such a framework can shed valuable light on border crises and the interplay between migration and foreign policymaking.

Gerasimos Tsourapas is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Glasgow. He works on the international relations of the Middle East and the broader Global South, with a particular focus on the politics of migrants, refugees, and diasporas. Gerasimos is currently the Principal Investigator of a five-year European Research Council Starting Grant project on migration diplomacy. He is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy, and has been elected as the incoming Chair of the Ethnicity, Nationalism, & Migration Studies (ENMISA) Section of the International Studies Association (2023–25).  He is the author of The Politics of Migration in Modern Egypt – Strategies for Regime Survival in Autocracies (Cambridge University Press, 2018) and Migration Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa – Power, Mobility, and the State (Manchester University Press, 2021). Gerasimos received a PhD in Politics from SOAS, University of London in 2016.

Matilde Rosina is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of East Anglia. Matilde is also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSE European Institute, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Italian Politics at King’s College London. Matilde's research focuses on international political economy and migration, with specific reference to the European context. She obtained her PhD in International Political Economy from King's College London in 2020, having been awarded the King’s Outstanding Thesis Prize. Her monograph on ‘The criminalisation of irregular migration in Europe’ was published in 2022 by Palgrave Macmillan.