Date of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Price, Jessica

Second Advisor

LeBlanc, Lawrence

Abstract

"Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution" (Article 14.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Asylum policy has undergone many reforms since its birth with the Refugee Convention that was drafted in 1951 and entered into in force in April 1954. This qualitative study focuses on the apparent recent trend in advanced industrialized countries to make asylum policy increasingly more restrictive. I examine comparatively the institution of asylum in the three advanced industrialized states that accept the largest numbers of refugees, which are Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. In this study I address three principle issues. The first is the efficacy of the advanced industrialized states in question at performing the intended function of asylum. I identify that a common factor in asylum policy reforms is increased restrictions, which all appear to be manifested within economic concerns. The second matter I study is common motivating factors as to why people migrate, and I identify that eco'nomic issues are frequently present but I discount this as a justification for restricting asylum policy. Finally I speculate on potential methods of resolving the issue and propose some reforms to asylum policy that could improve its efficacy at performing the intended function.

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