Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Political Science in Europe

Refugee Advocacy Communities and Immigration Federalism

Civil Society
Comparative Politics
Dagmar Soennecken
York University
Dagmar Soennecken
York University

This paper will examine the changes to the refugee advocacy (“policy”) community in Canada versus those in Europe, in particular in Germany, before and after the “refugee crisis” of 2015. The involvement of non-governmental actors in the making of public policy is important not only for migration scholars but also for those interested in broader questions of democratic governance inside and outside Europe. What can we learn about resistance and opportunities for policy change when examining the relationship between an advocacy community and rights-restrictive (vs. rights expansive) policy makers? How can we conceptualize degrees of “influence” in the first place? How much of a role do non-governmental actors play overall and how does it compare to this particular policy area?

Given that both Canada and Germany are federal countries, studying changes to the refugee policy community must involve investigating how they navigate their place in the respective immigration federalism regimes. Given that the importance of the subnational level in immigration policy varies dramatically across federations and has changed over time, how can we conceptualize the role of the refugee advocacy (“policy”) community?

The paper will detail changes to the refugee advocacy community in Canada, their aims and motivations vis-à-vis changes in government and report some early findings on the same in the German context. It is part of two inter-connected research projects that I am currently involved with, one a SSHCR partnership grant on the role of NGOs in the global refugee regime and the other on role of the refugee advocacy community in Canada.

Share this page