Advice as a vocation: politics, managerialism and state funding in the Swiss refugee support community

Author(s) : Tobias Georg Eule

Source :


« Refugees often find themselves in precarious situations when trying to claim asylum. This paper examines the changing nature of legal advice in Switzerland, where a new law is drastically altering the asylum regime to a more centralized and tightly managed procedure. This reform directly affects the refugee advice community, which sees an increase in state funding opportunities paired with a higher demand for quality standards and ‘managerial’ practices. These changes reveal frictions between advice organizations and challenge long-standing agreements and collaborations. (Re-)emerging fault lines concern whether to collaborate with or oppose the Swiss asylum regimes, and whether to assist with asylum appeals with low chances of success. Structurally and individually, pre- existing notions of ‘good advice’ are being challenged and threaten to divide the advice community into political advocates and pragmatic caseworkers. The changing nature of advice thus brings with it both pitfalls and new opportunities that require careful examination. »



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