Communitarianism vs Cosmopolitanism? Refugee and asylum policy of the Conservative "blue-blue" government
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This master thesis explores the national and international influence in formulation of refugee and asylum policy of the Conservative government that gained political power in 2013, by giving attention to the policies of the main constituent parties namely the Conservative Party and the Progress Party. The process of formulating the refugee and asylum policy has been an interaction between interests and influences on the national and international level. Tensions between international human rights and sovereign state are encountered in national policy formulation on the issue. The thesis examines these tensions and dilemmas with a theoretical framework of normative theory that discusses differences between cosmopolitanism and communitarianism. International obligations demand the government to comply with international conventions related to refugees. However several scholars argue that the contemporary world is communitarian; this suggests national influence and national policy is important in refugee policy formulation. Factors influencing the refugee and asylum policy on the national and international level will be examined based on social constructivism. International obligations are not the only factor influencing the refugee and asylum policy of the government. National factors do have crucial importance. Examined in this research are: parties influence on policy, parties influence on each other, public opinion, media and NGOs. Factors on the international level are: EU policies, international obligations and UNHCR. Among these factors all are important in influencing the refugee and asylum policy to the Conservative government to some extent. The interplay between these influences is important and all can be decisive in different times and different settings.