Bound Volume Number


Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2015

Capstone Advisor

Azra Hromadzic, Assistant Professor

Honors Reader

Goodwin Cooke, Professor Emeritus

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component



Bosnian refugees, Germany, Sweden, humanitarian, international law

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies | International Relations


The aim of this project is to explain what factors account for the differentials in treatment of Bosnian refugees in Sweden and Germany. Although both of these states are signatories of the same international conventions that govern states’ humanitarian obligations toward refugees, the resources available to the refugees varied greatly between both countries, which in turn influenced the lived experiences of the Bosnian refugees. This paper examines these discrepancies within the contexts of ideas about national citizenship, the existence of governmental institutions designed to foster refugee integration, and external, non-state factors such as the media and other charitable organizations that were capable of impacting refugee experiences. My research was primarily conducted through an examination of academic sources, including books, journal articles, and scholarly studies. I also relied heavily upon individual interviews conducted by academic researchers as well as primary source documents from both the Swedish and German governments. My research revealed in full form the true complexity of the reasons for the discrepancies and discontinuities in the treatment of Bosnian refugees. The distinctive political and social histories of Sweden and Germany provided yet another rich and complicated dimension to my project. Although my capstone is centered on two specific case studies, the lessons learned from them are invaluable when discussing the wider implications of incorporating humanitarian standards in international laws and agreements.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.



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