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Title Granularity and state socialisation: explaining Germany’s 2015 refugee policy reversal
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Date Accessioned
University/Publisher Australian National University
Abstract Between late August and mid-November 2015, the German Government liberalised its refugee policy to allow an unlimited number of people to claim asylum in the country, and then made a near-reversal on this policy by calling for European-wide quotas on the number of refugees entering the EU and a reduction in the number of refugees Germany would admit. The German Government’s decisions to liberalise and then backtrack on its refugee policy within a short time period, at a time when many people were still seeking asylum from the Syrian civil war, present a puzzle to the dominant International Relations theories of state socialisation—constructivism and rational choice—which do not explain well this type of observed real world behaviour. By using the Foreign Policy Analysis literature to augment the constructivist and rational choice approaches, I argue that a more granular approach can help explain Germany’s backtracking on refugee policy in 2015. I focus on the domestic actors, institutions, and the contested processes of their interactions from which state policy emerged. Using this approach, I explain Germany’s backtracking on its refugee policy as the result of varying sets of interactions over time among actors who had different and potentially changing interests and beliefs. This focus on granularity and contestation within state policy making processes provides a more precise understanding of the dynamics of policy making from which we gain a greater insight into this puzzling example of state behaviour. Such approaches may also help explain other examples of state behaviour that are similarly mysterious.
Subjects/Keywords refugee; refugee regime; refugee policy; migrants; human rights; asylum; asylum seekers; human rights norms; Germany; Syria; Hungary; Austria; Greece; Turkey; state socialisation; state socialization; international relations; international relations theory; constructivism; social constructivism; rational choice; Merkel; Angela; foreign policy literature; foreign policy analysis; European Union; EU; domestic actors; institutions; 2015; Syrian civil war; multiple levels of analysis; black box; veto player
Language en
Rights Author retains copyright
Country of Publication au
Record ID handle:1885/111430
Repository anu
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2019-08-21

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