© 2017

EU Asylum Policies

The Power of Strong Regulating States

  • Makes a significant contribution to debates surrounding the refugee crisis

  • Explains how the EU can find potential solutions to this humanitarian disaster

  • Provides empirical, theoretical and methodological innovations


Part of the Transformations of the State book series (TRST)

About this book


This book fills a significant lacuna in our understanding of the refugee crisis by analyzing the dynamics that lie behind fifteen years of asylum policies in the European Union. It sheds light on why cooperation has led to reinforced refugee protection on paper but has failed to provide it in practice. Offering innovative empirical, theoretical and methodological research on this crucial topic, it argues that the different asylum systems and priorities of the various Member States explain the EU's lack of initiative in responding to this humanitarian emergency. The author demonstrates that the strong regulators of North-Western Europe have used their powerful bargaining positions to shape EU asylum policies decisively, which has allowed them to impose their will on Member States in South-Eastern Europe. These latter countries, having barely made a mark on EU policies, are now facing significant difficulties in implementing them. The EU will only identify potential solutions to the crisis, the author concludes, when it takes these disparities into account and establishes a functioning common refugee policy. This novel work will appeal to students and scholars of politics, immigration and asylum in the EU.


Refugee crisis Social theory Empirical Member States EU directives

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Refugee Studies CentreUniversity of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Natascha Zaun is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, UK. 

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title EU Asylum Policies
  • Book Subtitle The Power of Strong Regulating States
  • Authors Natascha Zaun
  • Series Title Transformations of the State
  • Series Abbreviated Title Transformations of the State
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-39828-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-81976-1
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-39829-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVI, 315
  • Number of Illustrations 5 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Social Policy
    European Union Politics
    European Politics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“The present book provides a novel and empirically convincing account of why the EU asylum system was not fit for purpose during the refugee crisis. … the book provides an innovative analytical and empirical approach to understanding the regulation of asylum at the European level.” (Ingi Iusmen, Journal of Common Market Studies JCMS, Vol. 56 (5), July, 2018)