Asylum decision-making and discretion: Types of room for maneuver in refugee status determination

Autori/Curatori Jonathan Miaz
Anno di pubblicazione 2021 Fascicolo 2021/3 Lingua Inglese
Numero pagine 26 P. 114-139 Dimensione file 223 KB
DOI 10.3280/SD2021-003006
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By mobilizing ethnographic methods to study the Swiss asylum administration, this article analyzes the discretionary powers of Swiss asylum caseworkers in a context characterized by an important sophistication of law. Starting from the observation that the daily work of asylum caseworkers is strongly oriented and controlled by their superiors and colleagues, by institu-tional rules and guidelines, as well as by their socialization, the author identifies different types of discretionary powers, on which caseworkers’ discretion rests. Consequently, he discusses how caseworkers perceive and use it differently, depending on the situation in which they find themselves. Thus, the article argues that asylum caseworkers have different types of room for maneuver according to their tasks, to the situations they are faced with, to the conditions in which they operate, and to their own characteristics (capitals, attitudes, experience). Eventually, the present contribution shows the relational and collective dimensions of bureaucratic dis-cretion.

Keywords:Discretion - Bureaucratic Decision-making - Street-level bureaucracy - Asylum policy - Refugee status determination

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Jonathan Miaz, Asylum decision-making and discretion: Types of room for maneuver in refugee status determination in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL DIRITTO " 3/2021, pp 114-139, DOI: 10.3280/SD2021-003006