Asylum claims and the translation of culture into politics

Gregor Noll

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Since the early 1990s, we have witnessed how the system of asylum law reacts to the relativization of the nation-state in the global domain. The growing emphasis on cultural aspects in the conceptualization of "being persecuted" has stressed the dimension of positive obligations. This emphasis has widened the discretionary margin of decision makers. The substantive vacuum at the "human rights core" of the concept of "being persecuted" is a precondition for processes of acculturation through the asylum procedure. In asylum decisions, constructions of a particular cultural identity are cloaked in the universal language of human rights. A central role is played by the assessment of credibility of the applicant, which is modeled on the Christian practice of auricular confession. An applicant is credible where her "true identity" and that of the state of asylum correspond. Credibility assessments are but a reconfirmation of the identity of the asylum state and its protagonists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-501
JournalTexas International Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Law

Free keywords

  • human rights
  • mänskliga rättigheter


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