The destination is not the end : an institutional analysis of refugee education in Luxembourg

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Drivsholm, Mette Bach
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This thesis is a case study of the refugee education system in Luxembourg. Through the theoretical underpinnings of historical-sociological institutionalism, the analysis has 3 parts. First, the predominant tendencies in asylum-policies in liberal democracies identified to focus on national security rather than the rights of refugees. Luxembourgish debates on naturalisation laws support this negative view of asylum-seekers. Second, a legal analysis of the right to education for asylum-seeking and refugee children shows a different picture, namely that of a fairly strongly formulated set of rights, some of which are relatively enforceable. This inclusive rights-regime seems to be in contrast with the negative asylumpolicy regime. Third, a de facto analysis of policies implemented in the field of refugee education in Luxembourg shows that the Grand-Duchy has a surprisingly inclusive system of refugee education, and that asylum-seeker and refugee children’s rights are to a large extent realised since they are seen primarily as children rather than asylum-seekers. Finally, I seek to explain my findings through key institutionalist concepts such as institutional inertia, the stickiness of initial institutional design, path dependence, and contextual factors such as Luxembourg’s unique history of immigration and its current population composition.
Second semester University: Université du Luxembourg.
refugees, education, Luxembourg