Publication details

By elite demand : immigration policies of Germany and Hungary in the context of common EU policy


BARTOSZEWICZ Monika Gabriela

Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source International Social Science Journal
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Germany; Hungary; migration policies; political elites; elite theory; EU; migration crisis
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Description This paper analyses the migration policies of Hungary and Germany with a particular focus on the role of elites in the legal, factual, and discursive dimensions of elitist policy agenda-setting and implementation between 2015 and 2017. Theoretically, the elitist policy-making model is supplemented with democratic theories and the theories of regional integration. Methodologically, the paper is a comparative analysis aiming to account for the variance between two EU member states with opposite approaches to migration. Indeed, while Hungary and Germany are usually pitched against each other as two radically different examples of migration policy, the elite-centered approach shows a puzzling symmetry of differences between these two case studies. While policy results are divergent, there is a palpable cohesion of behaviours and narrative patterns, indicating that the political elites are the primary driver behind shaping and implementing migration policies. After establishing the theoretical underpinnings, the paper compares national legislations, accepted migrant quotas, and the official narratives of the Hungarian and German governments. The case analysis allows for the reinterpretation of seemingly contradictory migration policies and, as such, offers new solutions to the problem both on the national and international levels.
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