Forty-Eight Shades of Germany: Positive and Negative Discrimination in Federal Asylum Decision Making

Autor(en): Schneider, Gerald
Segadlo, Nadine 
Leue, Miriam
Stichwörter: EUROPE; Government & Law; IMMIGRATION; Political Science; POLITICS; RECOGNITION RATES; SEEKERS
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Volumen: 29
Ausgabe: 4
Startseite: 564
Seitenende: 581
Individual asylum seekers fail to obtain refugee status at considerably different rates cross- and sub-nationally. However, we do not know whether asylum seekers also face similar discriminatory potential when they appeal a negative decision and, if their appeal fails, when the authorities decide about their deportation. To fill this research gap, we examine inequities in these three stages of asylum decision making across the sixteen German Lander. We argue, based on principal-agent reasoning, that all three authorities empowered in this domain - the regional offices of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the administrative courts, and the immigration agencies of the states - consider their administrative, socio-economic, and political environments when making a decision. We demonstrate that positive and negative discrimination of asylum seekers does not stop with the initial decision by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, uncovering considerable spatial inequities in the aggregate rulings of the administrative courts on appeals by asylum seekers and the deportations for which the immigration offices of the Lander are responsible. The socio-economic characteristics of a Land and its political situation affect the choices the agents make at all three decision-making stages. Most notably, states with a government led by the Social Democratic Party, or with a long history of SPD dominance, have lower rates of negative decisions.
ISSN: 09644008
DOI: 10.1080/09644008.2019.1707810

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