Shared Heuristics: How Organizational Culture Shapes Asylum Policy

Shared Heuristics: How Organizational Culture Shapes Asylum Policy

   ,
  12:30 - 2 p.m.
  223 Moses Hall
Nicholas A. R. Fraser

What explains cross-national variation in asylum recognition rates? Refugee policy is unique in that it is the only form of migration policy that is codified into international law. Moreover, the United Nations High Commissioner actively monitors and guides implementation across the world. However, in many countries, bureaucratic agencies dominate the quasi-judicial process through which asylum-seekers are granted protective status.

Using a mixed methods approach that includes interviews with bureaucrats and refugee advocates in a variety of western and non-western developed countries, Dr. Fraser places Canadian asylum policy in a comparative perspective. Challenging conventional political science explanations of asylum policy that focus on international norms, party politics, or institutional rules, he shows that how bureaucratic culture accounts for patterns of very high or low recognition rates in jurisdictions where decision-makers enjoy a high degree of autonomy.

Nicholas A. R. Fraser recently completed his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Toronto, specializing in comparative politics and public policy. He holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Calgary as well as M.A.s in political science from the University of British Columbia and Waseda University. His research has been funded by various research grants including the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship.