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Title: Selective Sovereignty: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Identity, and the Politics of Asylum
Authors: Abdelaaty, Lamis
Advisors: Keohane, Robert O
Contributors: Politics Department
Keywords: asylum
Subjects: Political Science
International relations
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Why do countries open their borders to some refugees while excluding others? Why do countries sometimes "outsource" policies, like approving asylum applications or managing refugee camps, to the United Nations? This selective exercise of sovereignty is puzzling, particularly since regulating migration is often portrayed as the last bastion of state control. Where previous studies had emphasized material resources and humanitarian concerns, I hypothesize that countries' approaches to refugees are shaped by a combination of international and domestic factors. Internationally, leaders use refugees to reassure allies and exert pressure on rivals. At the same time, policymakers have domestic political incentives to favor refugee groups who share their ethnic identity. When they face conflicting pressures, policymakers delegate to the UN to avoid antagonizing refugee-sending countries or domestic constituencies. I find support for this theory using a mixed-methods research design. With large-N regressions, I examine the percentage of asylum applications accepted, as well as the degree to which countries delegate decisions on these applications. The results establish a correlation between refugee admissions and delegation on the one hand and interstate competition and ethnic affinity on the other. Then, I draw on fieldwork in Egypt, Kenya, and Turkey to examine the causal mechanisms in these three cases. These case studies allow for the comparison of policies toward particular refugee groups across countries. Aside from addressing a puzzling real-world phenomenon, this project adds insights to the literature on political responses to globalization processes, the politics of migration and asylum, the international sources of domestic politics, and delegation to international organizations.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Politics

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