Mass Movements and Foreign Policy Behavior in Europe

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 356 (University of Glasgow)
Adam Van Liere , Political Science, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
Erica Edwards , Political Science, Miami University Ohio
As refugees from the Syrian civil war make their way into Europe, they have brought with them an array of policy challenges and debates. These have ranged from the challenges of countries, such as Greece and Italy, grappling with an influx of migrants while still struggling with their own financial woes to the struggles of the United Kingdom debating a Brexit strategy largely centered around migration fears. But the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Europe has also called into question the foreign policy behavior of both European states and the European Union. Turkey, for example, has pressed for visa-free travel by its citizens throughout much of Europe as part of a broader migration deal intended to help stem the flow of refugees into Europe from the Middle East. While such examples are interesting in their own right, they beg the broader question of what effect does the mass movement of people have on foreign policy behavior? In this paper, we consider what factors lead member states in the European Union to adopt particular migration and asylum policies? In particular, when do members states diverge from the supranational policies established by the EU? Ultimately, we provide evidence that the domestic politicization of immigration and asylum, rather than economic arguments, shape the ways in which individual member states shape policy toward migrant issues.