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Why refugee burden-sharing initiatives fail: public goods, free-riding and symbolic solidarity in the EU

Thielemann, Eiko R. (2018) Why refugee burden-sharing initiatives fail: public goods, free-riding and symbolic solidarity in the EU. Journal of Common Market Studies, 56 (1). pp. 63-82. ISSN 0021-9886

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jcms.12662

Abstract

Traditionally, differences in states’ refugee protection contributions have been attributed to the variation in countries’ structural pull-factors such as their geographic location. However, policy choices, such as Germany's decision to open its borders for Syrian refugees in 2015, can also have a significant impact on the number of arrivals and constitute a puzzle that traditional approaches struggle to explain. This paper demonstrates that viewing refugee burden-sharing through the lens of public goods theory can provide significant insights about refugee protection dynamics in the EU, in particular in the context of a sudden mass influx of migrants that threatens internal security. By highlighting how free-riding and burden-shifting dynamics can undermine the provision of collective goods during a refugee crisis, a public goods approach can advance our understanding of why countries sometimes accept disproportionate responsibilities for forced migrants and how the effectiveness of EU refugee burden-sharing instruments can, and should, be strengthened.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(IS...
Additional Information: © 2017 University Association for Contemporary European Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 09:31
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 05:29
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86986

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