Explanatory Logics

  • Steven Loyal
  • Stephen Quilley


Taking the concept of social closure as central, this chapter outlines a four-tier analytical framework through which to understand the relationship between the state and asylum seekers in Ireland. Specifically, in Part I we explore tensions between four irreducible, discursive, and practical ‘logics’, that is, structured patterns of institutional habit, path-dependent policy momentum, political interest, economic imperatives, cultural lexica and discourse, and psychological habitus. These structural imperatives are as follows: (1) a logic of capital; (2) a logic of ethnic/national identity, state formation, and state legitimation; (3) a constitutional logic relating to enshrined liberal commitments and the rule of law; and (4) the logic of civil society—that is, the social struggles of immigrants, NGOs, and groups supporting and challenging immigration. The causal relations between these logics are not external, uni-directional, and contingent but rather internal, reciprocal, and necessary—in a word dialectical (Hegel 1977). In Part II, we apply these explanatory logics to Irish society, and changing state policy towards immigration and asylum seekers.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Loyal
    • 1
  • Stephen Quilley
    • 2
  1. 1.University College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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