Jakob Junghans/Winfried Kluth (eds.)
Exploring Asylum Seekers’ Lived Experiences of Vulnerability in Germany
This book analyses the experiences of asylum seekers within the German asylum procedure based on the fieldwork conducted across Germany for the VULNER project. It focuses on how individuals experience their own vulnerability and independently use their agency to overcome vulnerable situations. Thus, the process of becoming vulnerable, the experience of being vulnerable and overcoming vulnerability as an asylum seeker will be explored.
Although policy and legal frameworks increasingly reference the vulnerability of asylum seekers, this has not led to binding, transparent regulations that actively work to mitigate the challenges they face. For this book, however, the authors shifted the perspective from the state regulations and practices, to the lived experiences of vulnerable asylum seekers in relation to the asylum and reception procedures in Germany. The goal was to analyse how experiences of vulnerabilities are shaped and sometimes even produced by the legal and bureaucratic framework. To this end, the three intertwined analytical concepts of agency, temporality and intersectionality are used as a guideline to analyse asylum seekers’ individual and situational vulnerabilities with regards to the German system.
When focusing on situational vulnerability, this book emphasises the conditions of vulnerability that could be connected to an administrative condition of uncertainty such as being an asylum seeker whose application for asylum has not been decided yet. In addition, people can experience other forms of vulnerabilities that can be caused by uncertainty related to their legal status – such as being undocumented, stateless, in detention, in reception centres far from the communities and social/care resources. In these cases, there can be many factors that exacerbate a situation of vulnerability, e.g. the fact of being dependent from the authorities, limited access to medical and care assistance, or limited contact with family and mediators. To emphasise these structural factors of vulnerability the book uses the term administrative vulnerability as a form of situational vulnerability when examining the relationship between experiences of vulnerabilities and the legal and bureaucratic framework.
Hallesche Studien zum Migrationsrecht | Volume 10
1st edition 2023
paperback, 98 pages