Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Economics and Global Studies

Program or Major

Global Studies

Faculty Advisor

Smriti Rao


This paper is an analysis of what is deemed the “immigration crisis” in Europe as it affects the country of Italy. Originally, I had theorized that the effects of the immigration crisis on Italy were due solely to the failings of the Schengen Agreement. However, upon further research, I concluded the problems of the Schengen are only one part of a larger picture that finds its beginnings in the economic problems of Italy. The worldwide economic crisis of 2008 and the actions of the European Central Bank in the wake of the crisis created a separation in the European Union between larger central countries such as Germany and France, and smaller border countries such as Italy and Greece. The feelings of abandonment and alienization that were sparked in Italy during this time began the country’s disillusionment with the European Union, and these feelings were only exacerbated when the waves of immigrants began to pour in in 2015, and Schengen area countries began to close their internal borders and trap the immigrants and asylum-seekers in Italy, thus worsening the economic, social, and political problems that the country was already facing. In addition, my research prompted me to draw the conclusion that the underlying problem is the failure of the globalization that is seen in the European Union. Therefore, this paper theorizes that the current immigration crisis is not a crisis in and of itself, but provided the stimuli needed to create a crisis from the pre-existing problems in Italy and in the European Union.