Refugees: A Very Short Introduction
Refugees and other forced migrants are one of the great contemporary challenges the world is confronting. Throughout the world people leave their home countries to escape war, natural disasters, and cultural and political oppression. Unfortunately, even today, the international community struggles to provide an adequate response to this vast population in need. This Very Short Introduction covers a broad range of issues around the causes and impact of the contemporary refugee crisis for both receiving states and societies, for global order, and for refugees and other forced migrants themselves. Gil Loescher discusses the identity of refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons and how they differ from other forced migrants. He also investigates the long history of the refugee phenomenon and how refugees became a central concern of the international community during the twentieth and twenty first centuries, as well as considering the responses provided by governments and international aid organisations to refugee needs. Loescher concludes by focussing on the necessity of these bodies to understand the realities of the contemporary refugee situation in order to best respond to its current and future challenges.