Kirsten McConnachie's recent book Governing Refugees: Justice, Order and Legal Pluralism (published by Routledge), received another glowing review today in The Irrawaddy.
The review, by Jack Dunford MBE (Executive Director of the The Border Consortium from 1984-2012), highlights both the book's wide appeal and its refreshing take on the potential of refugee camps. Drawing on empirical research from her time living in the camps, Dr McConnachie challenges the conventional wisdom which sees all refugee camps as essentially places of danger and disorder, and refugees as passive victims. Instead, she describes the community governance structures that arose in the camps, which helped to maintain relative security and a sense of dignity for the inhabitants over a period of thirty years.
Mr Dunford hopes the book will be useful to policy makers and researchers working on Burma issues, as well as those working in other refugee contexts:
'It should be a must-read for Burma watchers, for all who have been engaged in the 30-year saga of refugees on the Thai-Burmese border, and especially for those involved in refugee policymaking, including state agencies, the UN and donors.'