Journal of Human Rights and Social Work

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 91–100 | Cite as

Obedience and Dehumanization: Placing the Dublin Regulation within a Historical Context

  • Marit BuggeEmail author


This article critically examines the Dublin Regulation and its impact on asylum-seekers, disputing the claim that the regulation is in accordance with human rights treaties. By drawing on case studies of asylum-seekers arriving at refugee shelters in Berlin from eastern and southeast European countries, the article demonstrates that the regulation’s genuine motive is to deter and control non-EU nationals. The case studies in this article show that surveillance mechanisms and EU laws inflict slow violence (Nixon 2011) on asylum-seekers. By applying Hannah Arendt’s remarks on Adolf Eichmann’s “inability to think” (1977), the article suggests that a similar process of “thoughtlessness” is at work within the current human rights violations of the Dublin Regulation. Drawing on the historical legacy of the social work profession, it ultimately proposes a social work model of civil disobedience as a counter strategy.


Dublin regulation Asylum-seekers Refugees Migration Surveillance Human rights Social work Civil disobedience 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alice Salomon University of Applied SciencesBerlinGermany

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