A recent ‘state of the art ’ review of the political science literature on migration notes that myriad studies ‘have provided evidence that a range of actors influence policy outcomes. They include organised interest groups, courts, ethnic groups, trade unions, law and order bureaucracies, police and security agencies, local actors and street-level bureaucrats and private actors ’ (Lahav and Guiraudon, 2006: 207). Missing from the list (although, to be fair, they later make a brief appearance in a table as ‘conduits of public opinion’) are organisations that one might have expected to have had some say in the matter. Their absence, however, is not unusual even if it is curious: as a contribution to one recent edited collection puts it, ‘political parties have received relatively short shrift among students of the politics of migration’; they ‘enter the story as minor characters with undefined roles ’ (Triadafilopoulos an
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