Lingering indeterminacy: The domestic political causes of global asylum-seeker distribution levels




Anderson, Sean Christopher

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Although the literature identifies factors significantly causal to asylum seeker destination preference patterns, a systematic framework useful to an understanding the causes of continued indeterminacy of status must examine strategies specific to individual receiving states. To this end, I construct two games of perfect information - one pitting the general receiving state and a seeker fleeing the general state of origin, and one pitting the general government of a multi-party democracy against its electorate. I establish a single subgame perfect equilibrium stance for each game to be adopted by the general state in accordance with the aims suggested in the literature. I then transform these ordinal utilities into cardinal utilities, derived as functions of data specific to each of 45 potential receiving states. I sum the subgame utilities collected at each node to derive 2 scores unique to each potential receiving state according to its own demonstrated preferences. Under the condition that each player moves toward equilibrium at each node, conditions arise within each state which inform unique overall strategic payoffs according to structurally derived variables. Higher scores inform higher numbers of applicants pending asylum status determination. The 2 scores for each state are mapped onto a bivectoral model. I find that states holding the greatest number of seekers pending status determination form a single cluster within Q1.


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Comparative Politics, Domestic Politics, Forced Migration, Political Asylum



Political Science and Geography