Hospitality or hostility?

Hospitality or hostility? Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, approximately five million refugees have fled their homeland. By 2017, Germany had accepted over half a million refugees from Syria; in stark contrast, the U.S. had allowed approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees to enter. What are the factors that explain why some countries are more open to refugees than others? This article compares German and U.S. responses to the Syrian refugee crisis, placing the differing responses in their historical, cultural, political, and institutional contexts. While acknowledging that proximity matters, the authors argue that several other factors are more important to explain the gulf between the German and U.S. response. One key variable is the extent to which policy-making is embedded in an international context. Given the fact that Germany’s refugee policy is couched within the EU, it is less volatile and more likely to reflect international norms. This applies, contrary to first impression, to chancellor Merkel’s open door policy of September 2015 as well. By contrast, U.S. refugee policy is more subject to political interests and trends. In addition, the critical juncture literature is applied to explain how the U.S. has, after the 9/11/2001 attacks, dramatically altered refugee policy to reflect public opinion and public concerns about national security. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature
Subject
Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general; Political Science
ISSN
1865-2646
eISSN
1865-2654
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12286-018-0379-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, approximately five million refugees have fled their homeland. By 2017, Germany had accepted over half a million refugees from Syria; in stark contrast, the U.S. had allowed approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees to enter. What are the factors that explain why some countries are more open to refugees than others? This article compares German and U.S. responses to the Syrian refugee crisis, placing the differing responses in their historical, cultural, political, and institutional contexts. While acknowledging that proximity matters, the authors argue that several other factors are more important to explain the gulf between the German and U.S. response. One key variable is the extent to which policy-making is embedded in an international context. Given the fact that Germany’s refugee policy is couched within the EU, it is less volatile and more likely to reflect international norms. This applies, contrary to first impression, to chancellor Merkel’s open door policy of September 2015 as well. By contrast, U.S. refugee policy is more subject to political interests and trends. In addition, the critical juncture literature is applied to explain how the U.S. has, after the 9/11/2001 attacks, dramatically altered refugee policy to reflect public opinion and public concerns about national security.

Journal

Zeitschrift für Vergleichende PolitikwissenschaftSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 23, 2018

References

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