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As the first book length study engaging with the ethical and normative debates surrounding asylum, Matthew Gibney's work represents a significant and path-breaking achievement. Its clear focus on the competing moral claims of citizens and refugees within the context of the entrance policies of liberal democratic states, although inevitably Northern-centric and liable to treat the question of asylum in isolation from the rest of the refugee regime, allows the book to respond to an analytically distinct question in a highly nuanced way. Recognizing the politicized nature of such debates, Gibney goes beyond engagement with the questions posed by moral philosophy, integrating them with his equal mastery of political theory and the empirical issues raised by the forced migration literature, to produce a work which is not only intelligent, readable and provocative, but has genuine relevance and real-world applicability.

More information


Book review


Oxford University Press

Publication Date



18 (4)


492 - 494