Internation Politics

Open Access
Greider, Alice Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
International Politics
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Sona Nadenichek Golder, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Gretchen G Casper, Honors Advisor
  • asylum
  • European Union
  • migration
  • policy
  • European integration
  • refugees
The influx of asylum seekers arriving to Europe between 2011 and 2016 as a result of conflict, instability, and inequality in the wake of the Arab Spring created a “migration crisis” that quickly became a more systemic “asylum policy crisis” as European Union member state governments scrambled to create or amend existing asylum policies to cope with vast number of asylum applications and people in need. The seventeen-year old Common European Asylum System collapsed as it became clear that countries had a wide variation in asylum policies and benefits and few had any interest in burden-sharing mechanisms inherent in EU policy. This paper seeks to examine the national determinants of asylum policy as a way to better understand the failures of the Common European Asylum System. Using a multivariate regression analysis, I gauge the importance of economic, political, popular opinion, and capacity factors in shaping asylum policy from 2008 to 2016. I use both the asylum recognition rate and create a original Asylum Policy Restrictiveness Index to test the importance of public opinion, government capacity, and strength of right wing parties. Contrary to my predictions, I find that contextual factors such as issue salience and geographic distance matter more for asylum policy than do other political or structural factors.