Reduction or deflection? The effect of asylum policy on interconnected asylum flows
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionMigration Studies. 2016, 5 (1), 65-96. 10.1093/migration/mnw028
In 2015 Europe experienced an almost unprecedented number of asylum arrivals. The result was a revitalization of both the political and academic debates on the relationship between asylum policies and arrivals. In this article we study the core of this debate, namely the effects of asylum policy on asylum flows. We examine what recent European history of asylum regimes and arrivals tells us. The policy changes are examined both with regard to their direct effect on the flows to the country that made the changes, and with regard to their impact on the inflows to other countries. Finally, we analyze the policy effect on the total outflow from the sending countries. The findings clearly suggest that both a direct effect and a deflection effect are at work. The results also indicate that stricter asylum policies in the destination clusters reduce the total outflow of asylum seekers.