Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
  • Humanitarian innovation and refugee protection

    3 September 2013

    The global governance of humanitarianism has historically been state-centric but although a state-led and state-coordinated response is crucial and saves lives, by itself, it has limitations. In response to the challenges faced by the sector, this paper puts forward an alternative vision based on the role of ‘humanitarian innovation’. The paper explores the potential of humanitarian innovation to transform core elements of the global governance of humanitarianism in general and refugee protection in particular. It is structured in three broad sections. The first section provides a background to the work of UNHCR and the way in which the organisation is gradually incorporating a role for the private sector and innovation into its work. The second section explains what innovation is and how and why it is relevant to refugee protection. In the third section, the paper sets out a vision for humanitarian innovation within the refugee context based on integrating a ‘looking inwards’ approach that builds upon refugees own ideas and agency and a ‘looking outwards’ approach that seeks to identify outside partners and solution-holders whose products, processes and mentorship might nurture and incubate innovation emerging at the local and national levels.

  • Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement

    3 September 2013

    International treaties, conventions, and organizations to protect refugees were established in the aftermath of World War II to protect people escaping targeted persecution by their own governments. However, the nature of cross-border displacement has transformed dramatically since then. Such threats as environmental change, food insecurity, and generalized violence force massive numbers of people to flee states that are unable or unwilling to ensure their basic rights, as do conditions in failed and fragile states that make possible human rights deprivations. Because these reasons do not meet the legal understanding of persecution, the victims of these circumstances are not usually recognized as "refugees," preventing current institutions from ensuring their protection. In this book, Alexander Betts develops the concept of "survival migration" to highlight the crisis in which these people find themselves. Examining flight from three of the most fragile states in Africa—Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia—Betts explains variation in institutional responses across the neighboring host states. There is massive inconsistency. Some survival migrants are offered asylum as refugees; others are rounded up, detained, and deported, often in brutal conditions. The inadequacies of the current refugee regime are a disaster for human rights and gravely threaten international security. In Survival Migration, Betts outlines these failings, illustrates the enormous human suffering that results, and argues strongly for an expansion of protected categories.

  • The international refugee regime and issue linkage

    3 September 2013

    Book description: Global mobility refers to movements of people across international borders for any length of time or purpose. In addition to the world's 214 million migrants, there are more than two billion annual border crossings of tourists, students, business people and commuters who travel internationally for stays of less than a year. This volume considers "global mobility" as an alternative concept to "international migration" in order to gain insights into international cooperation on movements of people across international borders; examines a set of interacting global mobility regimes: the established international refugee regime, a latent but strengthening international travel regime and a non-existent but potential international labor migration regime; and explores the possibilities of increasing international cooperation, especially through linkages among these three issue areas.

  • Is deportation a form of forced migration?

    3 September 2013

    In this article I explore why, despite the fact that it seems to represent the epitome of forced migration, deportation (the quotidian practice of lawful expulsion) is generally ignored by forced migration scholars. My key claim is that deportation is implicitly deemed a legitimate form of forced migration. Forced migration is not simply a descriptive term; it is also typically an evaluative one. Deportation is treated differently because it does not violate the key principles of a liberal-statist world order. I begin this piece by explaining why deportation is a phenomenon of such significance as to warrant attention. I then examine the normative framework (liberal-statism) underlying (most) studies of forced migration. I conclude by arguing that, even if one accepts the moral validity of this framework, the boundaries between deportation and other types of forced migration are often blurred, challenging the assumption that deportation can safely be ignored by scholars.

  • Should citizenship be conditional? The ethics of denationalization

    3 September 2013

    While many political theorists have focused on the question of whether states have a duty to grant citizenship to noncitizens, this article examines the issues associated with the state’s withdrawal of citizenship. Denationalization powers have recently emerged as a controversial political issue in a number of liberal states, making their ethical scrutiny important. I begin by considering the historical practice of banishment and how denationalization power emerged and became consolidated in the United Kingdom and the United States in the first half of the twentieth century. I then discuss the nature of liberal objections to the power. My focus next shifts to the United Kingdom’s Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act of 2002, which attempted to create a “liberal” denationalization power. In the final section of the article, I discuss whether the Act successfully addresses liberal concerns and in so doing shed light on the possibility of reconciling liberal principles with conditional citizenship.

  • Refugees, exiles, and other forced migrants in the late Ottoman Empire

    3 September 2013

    Refugee studies rarely address historical matters; yet understanding ideas about sanctuary, refuge, and asylum have long roots in both Western and Eastern history and philosophy. Occasionally the Nansen era of the 1920s is examined or the opening years of, say, the Palestinian refugee crisis is addressed. But by and large the circumstances, experiences, and influences of refugees and exiles in modern history are ignored. This article attempts to contribute to an exploration of the past and to examine the responses of one State – the late Ottoman Empire – to the forced migration of millions of largely Muslim refugees and exiles from its contested borderland shared with Tzarist Russia into its southern provinces. The article focuses on one particular meta-ethnic group, the Circassians, and explores the humanitarian response to their movement both nationally and locally as well as their concerted drive for assisted self-settlement. The Circassians are one of many groups that were on the move at the end of the 19th century and their reception and eventual integration without assimilation in the region provide important lessons for contemporary humanitarianism.

  • Religion and Nation: Iranian Local and Transnational Networks in Britain

    13 August 2014

    An estimated 75,000 Iranians emigrated to Britain after the 1979 revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. They are politically, religiously, socio-economically and ethnically heterogeneous, and have found themselves in the ongoing process of settlement. The aim of this book is to explore facets of this process by examining the ways in which religious traditions and practices have been maintained, negotiated and rejected by Iranians from Muslim backgrounds and how they have served as identity-building vehicles during the course of migration, in relation to the political, economic, and social situation in Iran and Britain. While the ethnographic focus is on Iranians, this book touches on more general questions associated with the process of migration, transnational societies, Diasporas, and religious as well as ethnic minorities.

  • Children and Youth on the Front Line: Ethnography, Armed Conflict and Displacement

    13 August 2014

    War leads not just to widespread death but also to extensive displacement, overwhelming fear, and economic devastation. It weakens social ties, threatens household survival and undermines the family's capacity to care for its most vulnerable members. Every year it kills and maims countless numbers of young people, undermines thousands of others psychologically and deprives many of the economic, educational, health and social opportunities which most of us consider essential for children's effective growth and well being. Based on detailed ethnographic description and on young people's own accounts, this volume provides insights into children's experiences as both survivors and perpetrators of violence. It focuses on girls who have been exposed to sexual exploitation and abuse, children who head households or are separated from their families, displaced children and young former combatants who are attempting to adjust to their changed circumstances following the cessation of conflict. In this sense, the volume bears witness to the grim effects of warfare and displacement on the young.

  • Crossing the Aegean: An Appraisal of the 1923 Compulsory Population Exchange between Greece and Turkey

    13 August 2014

    Following the defeat of the Greek Army in 1922 by nationalist Turkish forces, the 1923 Lausanne Convention specified the first internationally ratified compulsory population exchange. It proved to be a watershed in the eastern Mediterranean, having far-reaching ramifications both for the new Turkish Republic, and for Greece which hadto absorb over a million refugees. Known as the Asia Minor Catastrophe by the Greeks, it marked the establishment of the independent nation state for the Turks. The consequences of this event have received surprisingly little attention despite the considerable relevance for the contemporary situation in the Balkans. This volume addresses the challenge of writing history from both sides of the Aegean and provides, for the first time, a forum for multidisciplinary dialogue across national boundaries.

  • Whatever Happened to Asylum in Britain? A Tale of Two Walls

    13 August 2014

    Refugees and asylum-seekers are high up on many people's political agenda. Even so, there is a remarkable lack of information. Who are these asylum-seekers? Aren't they almost all "bogus"? How do western immigration authorities decide whether or not they are genuine? Is the UN convention on Refugees out of date and in need of renegotiation? This book brings insider knowledge to the study of asylum in Britain today. It is based on visits to places where asylum seekers are detained, on working with lawyers representing asylum-seekers and on a close knowledge of many of the refugee organisations. It argues passionately that Britain shall not throw away, through ignorance and misunderstanding, a reputation for providing a place of safety for the persecuted, and the chance of welcoming people who have much to contribute to national life and culture.