183 The Many Faces of Asylum: German Responses to the Refugee Crisis

Saturday, April 16, 2016: 11:00 AM-12:45 PM
Maestro A (DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Center City)
Responsible for  inducing the greatest European refugee wave witnessed  in modern times, post WWII  leaders in West Germany  embedded a very generous asylum provision in their 1949 constitution.   Most permitted to enter  through the  1960s and 1970s had fled “communist states”; although their numbers were  small,   less than  2% of those  fleeing from other harsh regimes were granted formal  asylum. Declaring that Germany was not a “land of immigration,” conservatives  toughened these restrictions significantly to  deter future refugee waves (Germany had no bona fide  "immigration law" at the time, leading to  regular charges of "asylum fraud").  Orchestrating a major rollback, Helmut Kohl all  but eliminated  the Basic Law’s generous guarantee. Since  2005, however,  Angela  Merkel has reversed course,  hoping to  turn the nation united into a “welcoming culture’ in view of  a looming demographic deficit, and  due to her own human rights commitment as a former East German. This panel will consider major  turning  points in German policies involving  refugees/asylum seekers, offering  top-down and bottom-up analyses, as well  as treatments of  state, local and civil society responses to  the current crisis.  It links  Merkel's actions to the larger European  framework, the  values at stake in the Community and the prospects for finding a sustainable refugee distribution and "burden-sharing" system. 
Joyce Marie Mushaben
Joyce Marie Mushaben
Discussant :
Barbara Donovan
Wir Schaffen Es!!: Angela Merkel and the Paradigm Shift in German Asylum Policy
Joyce Marie Mushaben, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Welcome Culture? Micropolitical Mobilization Regarding Refugees in Munich, Germany
Paula-Irene Villa, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
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