Danish desires for externalization and non-integration

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This paper assesses with the Danish Frederiksen-government ́s legislative proposal to externalize asylum processing and refugee obligations from Danish territory. A challenge with this task is the absence of much information in the proposal. Several crucial questions remain unanswerable, including: Where the extra-territorial facilities are to be located; who has responsibility for them; which authorities Denmark will collaborate with; which standards the asylum processing will be exported to; the domestic or geopolitical context of the host country; how the hosts will treat minorities, and many more. This lack of information illustrates a circular justification in the proposed legislation: It posits that the policy will be in accordance with Danish international obligations and human rights standards, simply because if the Danish government decides to externalize asylum processing and refugees ́ stay then it will be because it is in compliance with international obligations and human rights. At the current stage, such circular guarantees remain utterly hypothetical. Still, an analysis of the proposal helps to ascertain the rationale of policy-makers, allow for contextualization of the policy drive, and also adds the case study of current Danish politics to the existing research literature on externalization.In what follows, I first explain the components of the proposed policy in more detail. Second, I introduce, define and reflect upon the concept of externalization, as a conceptual framework for understanding the Danish policy development. Third, after this, I turn back to consider the debates, framings and discussions, which have surrounded this particular externalization policy as it has evolved through both Danish and international contexts. Finally, I end up with some concluding remarks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDanish desires to export asylum responsibility to camps outside Europe
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherCentre for Advanced Migration Studies
Publication date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - asylum, refugees, externalization, border control, deterrence, integration, EU, North Africa, camps, deportation, incarceration

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