Ethical Commitments And Raison D’etat In Rentier States: Asylum-Seeker Policies In The Gulf Cooperation Council And Central Asian Republics During The Refugee Crisis
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The international migrant crisis made headlines during summer 2015 and challenged the national asylum systems of many countries worldwide. Going beyond academic circles, hot debates on migrants and the role of asylum highlighted the gap and paradoxes that exist between claimed values of solidarity on the one hand, and the restrictive policies and regulations towards asylum seekers on the other hand. This paper documents this tension in oil and gas exporting states, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Central Asian Republics (CAR). It questions the claimed regional, ethnic and/or religious ties and the borders that have been closed to most asylum seekers from Syria and Afghanistan, who are presently living in poorer (oil and gas deprived) neighboring countries. This paper argues that in a time of low oil revenues and fiscal difficulties, rentier states give priority to the Raison d’Etat over any form of transnational solidarity and commitment to international human rights agreements and charters. New and creative institutional arrangements are needed to deal with the global refugee crisis, as traditional solidarities are, in both regions as well as in other rentier countries, victims of the modernization of politics and its uncaring redefinition of state interest in times of low oil revenues.
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