Explaining the immigration policy mix : Countries' relative openness to asylum and labour migration

Faculty/Professorship: Political Sociology  
Author(s): Schultz, Caroline; Lutz, Philipp; Simon, Stephan
Title of the Journal: European Journal of Political Research
ISSN: 1475-6765, 0304-4130
Publisher Information: Oxford : Blackwell Publ.
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 60
Issue: 4
Pages: 763-784
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12422
Western democracies have developed complex policies to manage migration flows. Much of the scholarly literature and political discourse assume that countries have become increasingly selective and that they prioritise economic intakes. Despite clear efforts by policymakers to distinguish between refugees and migrant workers, we know surprisingly little about how countries combine different policy dimensions and which factors shape their relative openness to different target groups. In this article, we shed light on how countries combine two of the main admission channels, asylum and labour migration, by introducing the concept of the ‘immigration policy mix’. A comparative analysis of 33 OECD countries between 1980 and 2010 examines the pattern and drivers behind their immigration policy mix: Does the policy mix follow a pattern of convergence, is it subject to political dynamics or is it path dependent? The results reveal that despite a shift in political sympathies from asylum to labour migration, countries' immigration policy mixes have strongly converged into more liberal policies overall. The immigration policy mix primarily reflects governments’ limited room to manoeuvre due to competing political pressures. These insights demonstrate that the immigration policy mix serves to enhance our understanding of countries’ complex regulation of immigration.
GND Keywords: OECD; Mitgliedsstaaten; Einwanderungspolitik; Geschichte 1980-2010
Keywords: immigration, migration policy, policy mix, labour, asylum
DDC Classification: 320 Political Science  
RVK Classification: MF 9250   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/53529
Release Date: 11. March 2022