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  • Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime

    13 November 2013

    States located near crisis zones are most likely to see an influx of people fleeing from manmade disasters; African states, for instance, are forced to accommodate and adjust to refugees more often than do European states far away from sites of upheaval. Geography dictates that states least able to pay the costs associated with refugees are those most likely to have them cross their borders. Therefore, refugee protection has historically been characterized by a North-South impasse. While Southern states have had to open their borders to refugees fleeing conflict or human rights abuses in neighboring states, Northern states have had little obligation or incentive to contribute to protecting refugees in the South. In recent years, however, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has sought to foster greater international cooperation within the global refugee regime through special conferences at which Northern states are pushed to contribute to the costs of protection for refugees in the South. These initiatives, Alexander Betts finds in Protection by Persuasion, can overcome the North-South impasse and lead to significant cooperation. Betts shows that Northern states will contribute to such efforts when they recognize a substantive relationship between refugee protection in the South and their own interests in such issues as security, immigration, and trade. Highlighting the mechanisms through which UNHCR has been able to persuade Northern states that such links exist, Protection by Persuasion makes clear that refugee protection is a global concern, most effectively addressed when geographic realities are overridden by the perception of interdependence.

  • Refugees in International Relations

    13 November 2013

    Refugees lie at the heart of world politics. The causes and consequences of, and responses to, human displacement are intertwined with many of the core concerns of International Relations. Yet, scholars of International Relations have generally bypassed the study of refugees, and Forced Migration Studies has generally bypassed insights from International Relations. This volume therefore represents an attempt to bridge the divide between these disciplines, and to place refugees within the mainstream of International Relations. Drawing together the work and ideas of a combination of the world's leading and emerging International Relations scholars, the volume considers what ideas from International Relations can offer our understanding of the international politics of forced migration. The insights draw from across the theoretical spectrum of International Relations from realism to critical theory to feminism, covering issues including international cooperation, security, and the international political economy. They engage with some of the most challenging political and practical questions in contemporary forced migration, including peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction, and statebuilding. The result is a set of highly original chapters, yielding not only new concepts of wider relevance to International Relations but also insights for academics, policy-makers, and practitioners working on forced migration in particular and humanitarianism in general.

  • Global Migration Governance

    13 November 2013

    Unlike many other trans-boundary policy areas, international migration lacks coherent global governance. There is no UN migration organization and states have signed relatively few multilateral treaties on migration. Instead sovereign states generally decide their own immigration policies. However, given the growing politicisation of migration and the recognition that states cannot always address migration in isolation from one another, a debate has emerged about what type of international institutions and cooperation are required to meet the challenges of international migration. Until now, though, that emerging debate on global migration governance has lacked a clear analytical understanding of what global migration governance actually is, the politics underlying it, and the basis on which we can make claims about what 'better' migration governance might look like. In order to address this gap, the book brings together a group of the world's leading experts on migration to consider the global governance of different aspects of migration. The chapters offer an accessible introduction to the global governance of low-skilled labour migration, high-skilled labour migration, irregular migration, lifestyle migration, international travel, refugees, internally displaced persons, human trafficking and smuggling, diaspora, remittances, and root causes. Each of the chapters explores the three same broad questions: What, institutionally, is the global governance of migration in that area? Why, politically, does that type of governance exist? How, normatively, can we ground claims about the type of global governance that should exist in that area? Collectively, the chapters enhance our understanding of the international politics of migration and set out a vision for international cooperation on migration.

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection, 2nd Edition

    13 November 2013

    This revised and expanded second edition of The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continues to offer a concise and comprehensive introduction to both the world of refugees and the organizations that protect and assist them. This updated edition also includes: up to date coverage of the UNHCR’s most recent history and policy developments; evaluation of new thinking on issues such as working in UN integrated operations and within the UN peacebuilding commission; assessment of the UNHCR’s record of working for IDP’s (internally displaced persons); discussion of the politics of protection and its implications for the work of the UNHCR; outline of the new challenges for the agency including environmental refugees, victims of natural disasters and survival migrants. Written by experts in the field, this is one of the very few books to trace the relationship between state interests, global politics, and the work of the UNHCR. This book will appeal to students, scholars, practitioners, and readers with an interest in international relations.

  • Towards a ‘soft law’ framework for the protection of vulnerable irregular migrants

    13 November 2013

    Since the 1980s, an increasing number of people have crossed international borders outside of formal, regularised migration channels, whether by land, air or sea. Policy debates on these kinds of movements have generally focused on security and control, to the neglect of a focus on rights. In a range of situations, though, irregular migrants, who fall outside of the protection offered by international refugee law and UNHCR, may have protection needs and, in some cases, an entitlement to protection under international human rights law. Such protection needs may result from conditions in the country of origin or as a result of circumstances in the host or transit countries. However, this article argues that, despite the existence of international human rights norms that should, in theory, protect such people, there remains a fundamental normative and institutional gap in the international system. Rather than requiring new hard law treaties to fill the gap, the article argues that a ‘soft law’ framework should be developed to ensure the protection of vulnerable irregular migrants, based on two core elements: firstly, the consolidation and application of existing international human rights norms into sets of guiding principles for different groups; secondly, improved mechanisms for inter-agency collaboration to ensure implementation of these norms and principles. The article suggests that learning from the precedent of developing the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, and its corresponding institutional framework, could be particularly instructive in this regard.

  • The refugee regime complex

    13 November 2013

    At the time of its creation, the refugee regime was relatively isolated amongst international institutions regulating human mobility. However, since its creation, globalization and interdependence have led to the creation of a range of new international institutions both in human mobility regimes, such as travel and labour migration, and non-mobility regimes, such as human rights, humanitarianism, development, and security. Many of these new regimes overlap with the refugee regime in significant ways, some complementary and some contradictory, relocating some of the most relevant politics for refugee protection into other issue-areas. This article argues that it is no longer possible to speak of a compartmentalized refugee regime; rather, there is now a “refugee regime complex”, in which the refugee regime overlaps with a range of other regimes within which States engage in forms of institutionalized cooperation that have a direct and an indirect impact upon refugee protection. The article explores what the emerging refugee regime complex means for States’ behaviour towards refugees, for refugees’ access to protection, and for the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

  • Survival migration: a new protection framework

    13 November 2013

    The modern refugee regime, created in the aftermath of World War II, provides protection mainly to people who flee individualized persecution or generalized violence. Subsequent to its creation, a range of new drivers of external displacement—particularly related to the interaction of environmental change, livelihood collapse, and state fragility—have emerged that fall outside the framework of the regime. In order to examine institutional responses to these people, this article develops the concept of survival migration, which describes people who have left their country of origin because of an existential threat for which they have no domestic remedy. It examines six case studies of national and international institutional responses to survival migrants from Zimbabwe, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which fall outside the 1951 Refugee Convention. Based on a conceptual model of regime stretching, the article offers an explanation for variation in the extent to which the existing global regime has adapted to address survival migration in different national contexts.

  • Palestinian refugee youth: agency and aspiration

    13 November 2013

    Palestinian refugee youth living both within and outside of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) camps in the Middle East are the focus of this article. For more than half a century, these youth have been captive for stereotyping, and they have been objectified as passive victims, much as their parents and grandparents before them lived without the benefit of international protection. Yet Palestinian youth, throughout the five UNRWA field sites, consistently express a willingness to act to improve their situation as well as a cautious and measured optimism for their future. Given the appalling poverty of many refugee youths’ lives, the prolonged low- and high-intensity armed conflict, and the structure of violence in the home, in schools and in daily encounters with occupation forces as well as Palestinian security, it is remarkable that Palestinian youth continue to maintain a sense of agency against all odds and hold on to aspirations for a better personal and community future.

  • Deterritorialized Youth: Sahrawi and Afghan Refugees at the Margins of the Middle East

    13 November 2013

    The Sahrawi and Afghan refugee youth in the Middle East have been stereotyped regionally and internationally: some have been objectified as passive victims; others have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages which presume the primacy of the Western model of child development. This book compares and contrasts both the stereotypes and Western-based models of humanitarian assistance among Sahrawi youth with the lack of programming and near total self-sufficiency of Afghan refugee youth in Iran. Both extremes offer an important opportunity to further explore the impact which forced migration and prolonged conflict have had, and continue to have, on the lives of these refugee youth and their families. This study examines refugee communities closely linked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and a host of other UN agencies in the case of the Sahrawi and near total lack of humanitarian aid in the case of Afghan refugees in Iran.

  • From Camel to Truck: The Bedouin in the Modern World, 2nd Edition

    13 November 2013

    The Bedouin tribes of Northern Arabia have lived thousands of years as pastoralists, migrating across the semi-arid badia in search of graze and browse for their herds. Romantic images of Bedouin – black tents, robed Arabs and camels – still persist. However, mobile pastoral livelihoods have come under pressure to change in recent years. The modern nation-states of the Middle East view pastoralism as anachronistic and encourage Bedouin to become settled cultivators. An even more dramatic shift has taken place within the last few decades: the Bedouin have traded in their camels as beasts of burden in favour of the half-ton truck. The ship of the desert is now a Toyota, Datsun, Nissan or General Motors pick-up. Nevertheless, many Bedouin continue to herd livestock – sheep, goat and camel – at the same time as engaging in new economic activities. They have been open to remarkable change whilst firmly holding onto their culture, and their traditional moral and value systems. The truck has allowed many the possibility of interacting with the region’s modern economy while still pursuing their mobile pastoral livelihoods. Extensive field research underlies anthropologist Dawn Chatty’s comprehensive study. She examines contemporary Bedouin society of Lebanon and Syria in the contexts of history, economy and political and moral culture. She details the consequences of motorized transport for this community – and she draws some surprising conclusions about its future viability.

  • Why study forced migration?

    19 November 2013

  • Study With Us

    25 October 2018

    The RSC offers academically rigorous, multidisciplinary teaching that attracts the finest students and practitioners from around the world. Our degree and non-degree courses have two distinct aims: to further academic understanding of forced migration by training future researchers and teachers; and to cultivate the ‘reflective practitioner’ by enabling practitioners to engage with key debates and situate displacement in a broad historical and international context.