The “true” homosexual refugee: an archaeology of the becoming and governing of refugees through scientific-legal categories of sexuality in german legal decision-making

University essay from Lunds universitet/Rättssociologiska institutionen

Abstract: Advancements in the application of international refugee laws, European Union and national asylum legislations has increased the protection for refugees and asylum seekers from sexual minorities. With point of departure in the German administrative court's credibility assessment dealing with asylum/refugee appeal cases relating to sexual orientation, the aim of this study is to explore the epistemological relation between the sexual psychology and legal decision-making. The overall objective of this study is posed through the problem of ‘how does knowledge derived from the sexual psychological science become constituent in the German credibility assessment dealing with asylum/refugee appeal cases relating to sexual orientation and what mechanisms are present when governing refugees from sexual minorities?’. By using a discourse analysis as methods for the empirical court verdicts and Michel Foucault’s archaeology as analytical grip, this study seeks to investigate what kind of knowledge counts as relevant criteria and preconditions for the interpretation of the law ‘membership of a particular social group’. In addition, it will be explored by what kinds of techniques and mechanisms law and legal decision-making become modes to objectify that categorise individuals and thereby achieve its ‘truth effects’. Finally, this study seeks to examine how this knowledge is constituted in the governing of refugees from sexual minorities. This study shows that the sexual psychological science constitutes itself as a natural and necessary epistemological dimension in the German credibility assessment, determining and affecting the categories, criteria and sexual stereotypes that occur in connection to the law ‘membership of a particular social group’. The proposed liberal rights for asylum seekers and refugees denote hence a regulated freedom.

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