Jackson, Joshua L. and Atkinson, Douglas B. 2019. “The Refugee of My Enemy Is My Friend: Rivalry Type and Refugee Admission.” Political Research Quarterly, 72(1): 63–74. doi: 10.1177/1065912918776136.
This article discusses the importance of interstate politics as one of the factors that contribute to a state’s decision to accept refugees. Specifically, scholars specializing in refugee policies point to the fact that states with “adversarial relationships are more likely to accept each other’s refugees” than states with friendly relations. In these cases, the most salient incentive for providing asylum comes from an ideological rivalry between two adversarial states, where “ideological rivals claim that their system of government is ideologically or morally superior to their rivals.” In this context, the acceptance of the rival’s refugees can act as a way to emphasize the harm and insufficiency of the other state – to the point that its own people want to escape their home country. Quantitative and qualitative data from 1960 to 2006 display a positive correlation between ideological factors (i.e. whether a country is democratic or not) and the count of refugees accepted by a receiver country in a given year. In short, the article concludes that ideological rivalry between two opposing states is one of the best explanations as to why some states accept tend to accept more refugees than others.
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