Author Crage, Suzanna M
Title Refugee aid policymaking in Berlin and Munich: Local responses to nation-state challenges
book jacket
Descript 275 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 70-12, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Elizabeth A. Armstrong
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Indiana University, 2009
Germany is facing a difficult challenge: how can it reconcile its identity as an ethnically and culturally homogenous nation with its status as a multicultural immigrant country? I examine how this challenge affects refugee policymaking. Germany is a major host country to refugees. In the late 1980s and 1990s refugee immigration increased dramatically, and policymakers responded by restricting asylum rights. Refugee migration is often seen as a matter for national governments or international agencies, and scholars have analyzed German policies at the federal level. City-level policies can also have important consequences, but they have received little attention. This dissertation compares refugee aid policymaking in Berlin and Munich from 1986-2004. It shows that policymaker discourse and decisions in the two cities varied in important ways, and explains why. In the process, it demonstrates the importance of studying city-level immigration policies, adds to theory about the role of national identity and collective memory in policymaking, and deepens our understanding of the forces that shape policy decisions
Data come from archival records of city policy debates during this period, supplemented with interviews conducted in 2004-2005. Policy discourse was shaped by competing national identity concerns and opposing paradigms about refugees. Both had different levels of relevance or support in each city. National identity was rarely mentioned in Munich; it was linked with refugee policy in Berlin, where policymaker debates revolved in part around the relevance of Germany's past for current national identity and policy. In Munich, most policymakers treated refugees as a humanitarian issue; Berlin policymakers were more likely to discuss them as a security risk. The dissertation expands theory about ideas and policymaking to explain these differences
The impact of national identity and paradigms on policy decisions was mediated by each city's resources and constraints. Guided by the humanitarian paradigm, Munich policymakers expanded refugee rights and freedoms; eventually, however, the Bavarian government and local constraints limited policy implementation. Berlin policymakers chose restrictive policies, though concerns about repeating past mistakes limited restrictions; additionally, policymakers switched to expansive policies after changes in local resources made them much cheaper. The dissertation analyzes and explains these interactions
School code: 0093
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 70-12A
Subject Sociology, Theory and Methods
Political Science, Public Administration
Sociology, General
Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
0344
0617
0626
0630
Alt Author Indiana University. Sociology