This book was first published in German in summer 2016. Based on the extraordinary movements of refugees and civil society and on the almost collapse of coordinated European refugee policy the book aimed at documenting and explaining the main events and mechanisms of the refugee movement of 2015. The book itself also was an outcome of a migratory process between Germany and Mexico, because from 2015 to 2017 I was granted leave from my Chair at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and held the Humboldt Chair at El Colegio de México in Mexico City. I noticed that the refugee movements in 2015 were not only of national or European but of international interest and significance. Many colleagues from Mexico, but also from many other countries, followed intensively what happened in Europe. All of them were quite impressed by the German chancellor Merkel’s saying, ‘We will manage this.’
In fact, the events of 2015 put on the agenda of European and of world-wide debates an often marginalized topic: the causes and routes of refugee movements; the commitment of nation-states to international, humanitarian, European and national law and norms of refugee protection; and the activities of civil society to cope with the most basic challenges of refugee reception. It is a ‘sticky’ topic. National polities and societies as well as the international community are somewhat aware of the corresponding dares. However, these challenges are generally faded out because of being far away and supposedly not affecting directly. The so-called European refugee crisis of 2015 was a litmus test not only for Europe but also for the entire world. It seemed appropriate to publish the content in English as well.
For the English version I have updated and extended the text substantially. Especially, most recent scientific literature was aggregated and commented in all chapters. All web links were checked in August 2017. Chapter 5 and section 7.1 were written newly for this edition. I appreciate the fast and accurate first translation of Sascha Möbius (S.M. in some footnotes). When not indicated otherwise, I translated direct citations into English. Melanie Wieschalla helped very efficiently with updating and checking the literature. Johanna Malcher assisted in editorial work. I received very valuable comments and suggestions from anonymous reviewers. Naturally, I am accountable for all errors.