Léa Lemaire received the PhD thesis award from the Mattei Dogan Foundation at the congress of the French Political Science Association held in Bordeaux in July 2019.
Her PhD dissertation was entitled: “Black and illegal” at the border of Europe. From the construction of a myth to the emergence of a transnational governmentality of migration. Malta-Brussels (2002-2013). It focused on the detention, relocation and resettlement of Sub-Saharan nationals rescued at sea and transferred to the island-state of Malta, since it joined the European Union in 2004.
The main purpose of her doctoral research was to provide a theoretical framework which takes account of the different actors involved in the design and implementation of Maltese asylum policies, including the migrants themselves. Indeed, there is limited research into migration policies that focuses on both target populations and policy-makers – a gap which her research attempted to fill. Her dissertation argued that the processes of migration policies involve both policy-makers and target populations, although they are subjected to asymmetrical power relations. The theoretical framework she employed was based on the concept of governmentality, which considers those who are governed, as well as those who govern.