Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Claiming Asylum in the Twenty-first Century: An Institutional Perspective

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Julia Dahlvik
      Pages 3-28 Open Access
  3. Setting the Scene: The Context and Circumstances of Work at the Federal Asylum Office

  4. Performing the Maneuver: Handling Four Dilemmas in Everyday Asylum Bureaucracy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 115-117
    2. Julia Dahlvik
      Pages 119-132 Open Access
    3. Julia Dahlvik
      Pages 133-151 Open Access
    4. Julia Dahlvik
      Pages 153-164 Open Access
    5. Julia Dahlvik
      Pages 165-178 Open Access
  5. Conclusion and Prospects: Theorizing Public Officials’ Practices and Practical Ways Ahead

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-180
    2. Julia Dahlvik
      Pages 195-208 Open Access

About this book


This open access monograph provides sociological insight into governmental action on the administration of asylum in the European context. It offers an in-depth understanding of how decision-making officials encounter and respond to structural contradictions in the asylum procedure produced by diverging legal, political, and administrative objectives.

The study focuses on structural aspects on the one hand, such as legal and organisational elements, and aspects of agency on the other hand, examining the social practices and processes going on at the frontside and the backside of the administrative asylum system.

Coverage is based on a case study using ethnographic methods, including qualitative interviews, participant observation, as well as artefact analysis. This case study is positioned within a broader context and allows for comparison within and beyond the European system, building a bridge to the international scientific community.

In addition, the author links the empirical findings to sociological theory. She explains the identified patterns of social practice in asylum administration along the theories of social practices, social construction and structuration. This helps to contribute to the often missing theoretical development in this particular field of research.

Overall, this book provides a sociological contribution to a key issue in today's debate on immigration in Europe and beyond. It will appeal to researchers, policy makers, administrators, and practitioners as well as students and readers interested in immigration and asylum.


Public administration of asylum applications in Europe Determining refugee status in the street-level bureaucracy Individual-institution interaction Institutional ethnography Theory of social practices Immigration in Europe Open access

Authors and affiliations

  • Julia Dahlvik
    • 1
  1. 1.FH Campus WienUniversity of Applied SciencesWienAustria

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-63305-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-63306-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2364-4087
  • Series Online ISSN 2364-4095
  • Buy this book on publisher's site