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Germany’s “Open-Door” Policy in Light of the Recent Refugee Crisis: An Interpretive Thematic Content Analysis of Possible Reasons and Underlying Motivations
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to examine the medially conveyed open-door refugee policy approach of the German government, in light of the recent refugee crisis in Europe. To gain an understanding of the reasons for this policy approach, a thematic content analysis is carried out, identifying and extracting themes, as portrayed in the national, international media, and political debates in the German Bundestag. These themes are then used in a comparison with actual refugee polices and further analysed from a constructivist and a structural realist perspective so as to investigate underlying motivations behind them.Fifteen themes and reasons were identified, with the three most frequently occurring themes, Capacity and Capability, Humanitarian Responsibility, and Demography and Economy, making up about half of the number of themes found. The analysis also showed that both constructivist concepts – such as identity – as well as structural realist notions – for example national interests and capabilities – were largely contributing factors with regards to guiding, shaping and deciding on Germany’s refugee policies. Germany’s intake of about one million refugees was – in the context of identity – an acceptable decision, following its normative, national, moral, historical and humanitarian standards; and the perceived benefits of the policy provide strong arguments in regards to the country’s capabilities and national interests.The thesis concludes that because Germany’s highly internal-moral-driven identity aligned well with its capabilities and national interests, Germany was able to continuously pursue its “open-doors” refugee policy despite resistance from a vocal opposition.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , p. 103
Keywords [en]
Germany, Refugee Crisis, Refugee Policy, Open-Door Policy, Reasons, Motivations, Constructivism, Structural Realism, Content Analysis, Thematic Analysis, Themes, Media, Parliamentary Debates
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-132598ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--16/02372--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-132598DiVA, id: diva2:1046928
Subject / course
Master's Programme in International and European Relations
Available from: 2016-12-16 Created: 2016-11-15 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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