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Published May 4, 2022 | Version v1
Working paper Open

The Right to International Protection. Institutional Architectures of Political Asylum in Europe (1970-2000)

  • 1. Department of Economics, University of Ghent


In this report we focus on this administrative asylum agency on its own. There is little literature on the recognition policy of the Asylum Offices (AO) as the deliberations and decisions of the AO are in general not made public. With hindsight and most of all with archival material or personal interviews the interaction between the administration and the political actors can be reconstructed. However, to obtain insight into the decision-making process within the AO, one has to look into the discussions internal to the administration as the AO were, at times, merely an administrative unit within a larger department, which makes it opaque. Even access to decisions in individual cases is not straightforward due to privacy concerns: since the closure period is at least 50 years for material related to individuals, the researcher typically needs the permission of the persons concerned.

Our analysis of AO protection practices in Europe is based on the historical and contemporary literature on the asylum agencies as well as on archival research and interviews with privileged time witnesses, mainly (former) leading officials of these institutions. Our analysis of the AO protection practices is embedded in the evolving immigration and asylum policies of the continental European states. The literature on these policy developments is largely dominated by legal scholars, only few political scientists and historians have examined this policy domain. The few who did work on these topics almost exclusively focused on one country. To juxtapose these national developments and compare the changes in Europe demanded a considerable effort to see difference and similarities.  


D3.3 Protect website (final) kopi.pdf

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European Commission