A House Divided: Evolution of EU Asylum Policy after the Bosnian War




Shoemaker, Melissa K.

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This dissertation examines the role of the Bosnian refugee crisis in generating support within EU Member States for a centralized, EU-level asylum policy after the 1992-95 Bosnian war. As the Bosnian war occurred on the heels of the Cold War and the signing of the Maastricht Treaty creating the European Union, this study assesses whether non-state and inter-state actors and EU institutions urging a centralized asylum policy supplanted traditional, internal sources of policy influence, such as public opinion and political partisanship. The methodology includes a review of scholarly literature, interviews with EU and nongovernmental organization (NGO) officials, press reports from all EU Member States, EU polling data, and reports from NGOs and EU institutions. The study concludes that NGOs and EU institutions lobbying for an EU-level policy as a result of the Bosnian refugee crisis carried substantial influence on EU Member State positions on such a policy, while political partisanship and public opinion did not bear out significant results.



Bosnia, Asylum, Refugee, European union