Rianne Dekker, Caroline Oliver & Karin Geuijen
When numbers of refugees seeking asylum increase, local governments are prompted to open new asylum seeker centres (ASCs). This happened for example during the European ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015-16, and more recently, with increasing numbers of people fleeing Afghanistan. Decisions to open facilities such as ASCs often inspire opposition which local governments must navigate. This is the issue we explore in our recent article in Policy & Politics where we ask: Can community involvement policies mitigate NIMBYism and local opposition to asylum seeker centres?
Usually, governments assume that opposition to a facility is fueled by NIMBYism, where residents object to a facility’s local siting but would not object if it was opened elsewhere. They adopt strategies to isolate the facility from its locality, to prevent possible negative impacts. However, in many cases, local opposition has deeper roots than NIMBYism and requires a different policy approach. Continue reading