Merkel Government’s Refugee Policy: Under Bounded Rationality
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Defining Refugees
2.2. Literature Review: Refugee Crises Relate to Internal and External Governance
2.3. Policy Making: From Rational Actor to Bounded Rationality
2.4. An Analytical Framework Based on the Theory of Bounded Rationality
3.1. The Evolution of Refugee Policies in Germany (2005–2015)
3.1.1. Phase 1: Strict Border Controls (2005–2015)
3.1.2. Phase 2: Welcome Culture (September–October 2015)
3.1.3. Phase 3: Welcome Culture under Restrained Policies (October 2015–2021)
3.2. An Analysis Based on the Analytical Framework
3.2.1. The First Shift in the Refugee Policy of Germany
Key Events and Problem Identification
Goal Selections of Merkel Government
Psychological Restraints on Decision-Making
3.2.2. The Second Shift in the Refugee Policy of Germany
Key Events and Problem Identification
Contradictory Humanitarianism and Realpolitik
5. Theoretical and Practical Implications
6. Limitations and Directions for Future Studies
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Angela Merkel is the then Chancellor of Germany, who served from 2005 to 2021. She was the first woman chancellor and the second longest-serving chancellor in German history. Under her leadership, Germany has experienced a remarkable development. In response to internal and external challenges, Merkel maintains a political “middle way”, which will be discussed in the third part of the article.
Researchers have different views on the impact of the slogan. Some researchers argue that Merkel’s slogan has exacerbated the refugee problem, while others argue that it has had little impact, that there were already a large number of refugees applying for asylum beforehand, and that the signal it sends gives refugees some hope. The slogan was neither the origin of the refugee crisis nor did it deepen it (Pries 2019; Mushaben 2017; Spijkerboer 2016).
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|Phase||Strict Border Controls||Welcome Culture||Welcome Culture under Restrained Policies|
|Period||2005–2015||September 2015-October 2015||October 2015–2021|
|Key events||The Arab Spring in the Middle East.||Mass drownings at Mediterranean Sea.|
The death of Aylan.
|Terrorist attack in Paris in 2015.|
The New Year’s Eve incident in Cologne in 2015.
|Refugee situation||The number of refugee claims exceeded 40,000 in 2010 and increased to 202,800 in 2014.||Number of officially registered refugees reaches 1 million in last three months of 2015.||German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees receives around 400,000 asylum applications in first half of 2016.|
|Governmental attitudes||Strict border controls and restriction.||From hesitation to welcome culture.||Re-tightening the refugee policy.|
|Reason for Seeking Asylum||Disapproval||Ambivalence||Approval||Mean Value|
|Subsidiary Protection (EU-Law)||10||8||81||8.9|
|Political Persecution because of … (Geneva Convention)||20||16||63||7.4|
|Human rights activities||14||12||74||8.3|
|Labor union activities||31||20||49||6.5|
|Overall assessment of all reasons for seeking asylum||19||13||69||7.4|
|Suspects Total||Non-German Suspects|
|Suspected immigrants by nationalities|
|Consequences Are …|
|Rather Negative||Ambivalent||Rather Positive|
|Social consequences of refugee migration|
|Is good or bad for the economy||39||23||39|
|Cultural life is undermined or enriched by refugees||44||21||35|
|Germany becomes a worse or better place to live because of the refugees||47||30||23|
|The core values of our society are undermined or enriched by refugees||51||30||18|
|The influx of refugees bears more risks or opportunities in the short term||74||11||15|
|The influx of refugees bears more risks or opportunities in the long term||48||15||37|
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Niu, Z.; Song, W.; Lu, Y.; Bao, X. Merkel Government’s Refugee Policy: Under Bounded Rationality. Soc. Sci. 2023, 12, 187. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030187
Niu Z, Song W, Lu Y, Bao X. Merkel Government’s Refugee Policy: Under Bounded Rationality. Social Sciences. 2023; 12(3):187. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030187Chicago/Turabian Style
Niu, Zhongqi, Wenlong Song, Yantong Lu, and Xingyu Bao. 2023. "Merkel Government’s Refugee Policy: Under Bounded Rationality" Social Sciences 12, no. 3: 187. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030187