Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Affairs

First Advisor

Pushkala Prasad


This paper answers the question of why countries react to refugee crises the way they do and what factors contribute to that response. Germany and Denmark, countries that are similar in many ways, have shown different approaches to refugees and reactions to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Germany made international headlines last year when it opened its borders and Chancellor Angela Merkel called on other EU-countries to do the same. Denmark, on the other hand, while having developed an extensive and internationally recognized refugee resettlement program, has attracted international attention with a new asylum law that can be seen as a deterrence tactic. This paper argues that the countries’ historical evolvement and past experience with migration and refugees as well as the composition of the countries’ political and social sphere have shaped their responses.