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Contact Details:
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LSE, Houghton Street
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Contact Details:
Room CON.3.14
LSE, Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7955 6012

 Office Hours (term time only):
by appointment through LSE for YOU or email

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Welcome to the homepage of 

Eiko Thielemann

Positions: - Associate Professor in European Politics and Policy, 
                  Department of Government & European Institute, LSE
                - Director, LSE Migration Studies Unit (MSU)
                - Global Associate Professor, New York University (NYU-London)               

Research Interests: Public Policy, Comparative Politics, International Institutions, European Union, Multi-level Governance, Asylum & Immigration Policy.

Current Research Projects:
             (1) IMPALA (
International Migration Policy And Law Analysis)
             (2) International Burden-Sharing
             (3) EU Justice & Home Affairs
             (4) Global Public Goods


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Current Research Projects

(1) IMPALA (International Migration Policy And Law Analysis) (IMPALA website)

Governments adopt a wide variety of approaches to regulating immigration. They give different meanings to basic concepts such as citizenship and residency, and place different importance on occupational skills, family reunification, and cultural and ethnic diversity when selecting immigrants. But it is impossible at the moment to say much more than that about alternative approaches to immigration policy. There are no comprehensive, cross-nationally comparable data on immigration policies and no systematic method for classifying, measuring, and comparing immigration policies across countries and over time. 

The International Migration Policy and Law Analysis (IMPALA) Database will address this problem directly by providing a new set of data on immigration policies that should be of immense value to researchers in a wide variety of academic disciplines. The IMPALA Database is a collaborative project, bringing together social science and legal researchers from Harvard University, the University of Luxembourg, the University of Amsterdam, the London School of Economics, and the University of Sydney.
The IMPALA research team is currently gathering comparable data on immigration law and policy in over 25 countries of immigration between 1960 and 2010. We examine all major categories of immigration law and policy, covering the acquisition of citizenship, economic migration, family reunification, permanent immigration, temporary migration, asylum and refugee protection, and policies relating to undocumented migration and border control. We will also examine policies relating to the integration of immigrants into the host country, including government programs providing medical insurance, cash benefits, housing assistance, employment assistance, job skill and language training, and civics courses.
By creating a comprehensive, cross-nationally comparable database on immigration laws and policies, the project will make it possible for scholars to evaluate the effects of different approaches to managing immigration and thereby make critical contributions to ongoing debates and policy decisions. We anticipate that it will be useful to economists interested in explaining immigration flows and their economic effects, to sociologists examining the social and cultural consequences of immigration, to political scientists interested in explaining immigration policies and the political impact of immigration, and to legal scholars studying the rights granted to immigrants and refugees in different countries.

(2) International Burden-Sharing: Redistributive Politics Beyond the State

The literature on international burden-sharing, i.e. the question of how to share the costs for the provision of collective goods or common initiatives between states, has long been prominent among researchers interested in international organisations, in particular in the area of collective security.  More recently one has been able to observe a widening of the burden-sharing debate, with more questions being asked about states' regional and global responsibilities in areas such as peace-keeping, climate change and increasingly also forced migration.  In the latter area, countries have been faced with significant and very unequal responsibilities as a result of highly fluctuating inflows of asylum seekers into their territories.  National (unilateral) policy responses in this area have often failed to achieve their objectives while producing significant externalities for other states.  Consequently, policy makers have increasingly advocated multi-lateral approaches to deal with the policy challenges posed by asylum seekers and refugees.  Against this background, I am in the process of completing a research monograph which will analyse the rationale, mechanisms and effectiveness of international burden/responsibility-sharing in the case of international refugee protection.  Building on theoretical insights from the literature on international public goods, the analysis focuses on four distinct approaches: (1) regulatory (policy sharing), (2) distributive (resource-sharing), (3) re-distributive (people-sharing) and (4) market-based (build on the idea of countries' having comparative advantages in contributing to international public goods).  By comparing and contrasting these four approaches, the project aims to explore the driving forces and obstacles to international burden-sharing initiative, assessing their past record and future potential in achieving equitable and sustainable systems of international burden-sharing.

((3) EU Justice & Home Affairs: Between 'Hard' and 'Soft' Europeanisation

In the early 1990s, the relative stability that had characterised Europe's post-war asylum regime gave way to radical and widespread restrictive policy change. In order to explain how such substantive change was possible, in a policy area in which policy makers have traditionally faced strong constraints from both domestic and international sources, this project analyses the role played by European integration.  On the one hand it seeks to explain how European integration (i.e. the development of institutions at the EU level) can selectively legitimate actors, ideas and discourses, and in doing so facilitate domestic policy change. On the other hand, it seeks to explain why states have delegated authority over policy-making in this area to the EU level in the first place.

(4) The Comparative Analysis of Global Public Goods

I seek to apply the insights gained from my ongoing research on burden-sharing in the area of refugee protection  to the regulation of other international public goods in areas such as environmental protection, collective security and disease control.