Measuring and Comparing Immigration, Asylum and Naturalization Policies Across Countries: Challenges and Solutions

 Immigration, Asylum and Naturalization Policies Across Countries

Justin Gest, Anna Boucher, Suzanna Challen, Brian Burgoon, Eiko Thielemann, Michel Beine, Patrick McGovern, Mary Crock, Hillel Rapoport and Michael Hiscox.

Academics and policy makers require a better understanding of the variation of policies that regulate global migration, asylum and immigrant naturalization. At present, however, there is no comprehensive cross-national, time-series database of such policies, rendering the analysis of policy trends across and within these areas difficult at best. Several new immigration databases and indices have been developed in recent years. However, there is no consensus on how best to conceptualize, measure and aggregate migration policy indicators to allow for meaningful comparisons through time and across space. This article discusses these methodological challenges and introduces practical solutions that involve historical, multi-dimensional, disaggregated and transparent conceptualizing, measuring and compiling of cross-national immigration policies. Such an approach informs the International Migration Policy and Law Analysis (IMPALA) database.

Policy Implications

  • Academics and policy makers require a better understanding of the variation of policies that regulate global migration, asylum and immigrant naturalization.
  • At present, there is no comprehensive cross-national, time-series database of immigration policies, rendering the analysis of policy trends across and within these areas difficult for policy makers and scholars alike.
  • Immigration policy makers have few resources for the establishment or analysis of best practices. This article outlines early steps.
  • Coding and measurement of policy across borders is of interest in spheres beyond the regulation of global migration.
  • The coding of immigration policies reveals the discrepancies of implementation and enforcement of immigration law.
Access Article

Related