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The book

EU Asylum Policies: The Power of Strong Regulating State fills a significant lacuna in our understanding of the refugee crisis by analysing the dynamics that lie behind fifteen years of asylum policies in the European Union. It sheds light on why cooperation has led to reinforced refugee protection on paper but has failed to provide it in practice. Offering innovative empirical, theoretical and methodological research on this crucial topic, it argues that the different asylum systems and priorities of the various Member States explain the EU's lack of initiative in responding to this humanitarian emergency. The author demonstrates that the strong regulators of North-Western Europe have used their powerful bargaining positions to shape EU asylum policies decisively, which has allowed them to impose their will on Member States in South-Eastern Europe. These latter countries, having barely made a mark on EU policies, are now facing significant difficulties in implementing them. The EU will only identify potential solutions to the crisis, the author concludes, when it takes these disparities into account and establishes a functioning common refugee policy. This novel work will appeal to students and scholars of politics, immigration and asylum in the EU.

The author

Natascha Zaun is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, UK. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Bremen, Germany. During her PhD, she was a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics’ Migration Studies Unit. Before coming to the RSC, Natascha worked at the Collaborative Research Centre 597 ‘Transformations of the State’ at the University of Bremen for a research project on ‘Border Regime Change and the Mobility of Persons’ and as a researcher and lecturer in the area of International Relations at the University of Mainz. Currently, Natascha’s research focuses on the reform of the global and European refugee regimes.


Mathias Czaika is Director of the International Migration Institute (IMI) and Associate Professor in Migration and Development. He has a PhD in Political Economy (University of Freiburg, Germany) and a Diploma in Economics (University of Konstanz, Germany) and has been an economic advisor with GTZ (the German Development Cooperation Agency). His research covers the political economy of migration (how do migration policies come about?) and the role of migration policies in shaping international migration flows (how do the various types of migration policy instruments influence migration flows?).

Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture

The Annual Elizabeth Colson Lecture is held in Trinity term. It is named after Professor Elizabeth Colson, a renowned anthropologist.

Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture

The Annual Harrell-Bond Lecture is named in honour of Dr Barbara Harrell-Bond, the founding Director of the Refugee Studies Centre. It is held each year in Michaelmas term.

Public Seminar Series

Each term the RSC holds a series of public seminars, held on Wednesday evenings at Queen Elizabeth House. Click here for details of forthcoming seminars.

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Forthcoming events

A celebration of the life of David Turton

Saturday, 20 July 2024, 2pm to 3pm @ The Crypt Cafe, St Peters Church, Northchurch Terrace, London N1 4DA