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6 - Denial, Elucidation or Resignation? British and German State Responses to Unauthorised Migrants

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 November 2023

Christina Boswell
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Emile Chabal
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

This chapter explores the asylum crisis of the 1990s. We examine how officials in Germany and the UK dealt with growing evidence of a sizeable population of irregular migrants by deploying the three main strategies for responding to ignorance: denial, elucidation and resignation. Although both governments pursued forms of denial and resignation, these took different forms. In the UK, pragmatism about the limitations of state capacity implied that officials were sanguine about their ‘ignorance’, with pressure emanating from external political scrutiny. In Germany, officials faced an acute conflict between bureaucratic and legal norms of the rule of law. Both cases reveal profound state ambivalence about elucidating a social problem over which they had limited control.

Type
Chapter
Information
States of Ignorance
Governing Irregular Migrants in Western Europe
, pp. 165 - 186
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

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G2: politician, 30 January 2018.Google Scholar
G3: government official, 31 January 2018.Google Scholar
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G5: government official, 2 February 2018.Google Scholar
G6: government official, 19 February 2018.Google Scholar
G12: trade union official, 17 March 2018.Google Scholar
G13: church official, 17 March 2018.Google Scholar
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UK12: government official, 27 March 2018.Google Scholar
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UK22: government official, 17 July 2007.Google Scholar
G1: four government officials (group interview), 29 January 2018.Google Scholar
G2: politician, 30 January 2018.Google Scholar
G3: government official, 31 January 2018.Google Scholar
G4: government official, 1 February 2018.Google Scholar
G5: government official, 2 February 2018.Google Scholar
G6: government official, 19 February 2018.Google Scholar
G12: trade union official, 17 March 2018.Google Scholar
G13: church official, 17 March 2018.Google Scholar
G16: church official, 20 March 2018.Google Scholar
G18: government official, 21 March 2018.Google Scholar
G19: politician, 22 March 2018.Google Scholar
G20: government official, 22 March 2018.Google Scholar
G28: politician, 25 April 2018.Google Scholar
UK2: government official, 27 November 2017.Google Scholar
UK3: government official, 28 November 2017.Google Scholar
UK4: government official, 12 December 2017.Google Scholar
UK5: NGO official, 13 December 2017.Google Scholar
UK7: government official, 9 February 2018.Google Scholar
UK8: government official, 9 February 2018.Google Scholar
UK9: government official, 23 March 2018.Google Scholar
UK10: government official, 26 March 2018Google Scholar
UK12: government official, 27 March 2018.Google Scholar
UK13: government official, 13 April 2018.Google Scholar
UK22: government official, 17 July 2007.Google Scholar

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