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We all owe a debt of gratitude to David Owen and Alex Aleinikoff for their thoughtful reflections on the desirability and practicality of proposals and practices that divide the world between refugee hosting states (in the Global South) and refugee protection financing states (in the Global North). Given the way the winds have blown over the last decade, with Northern states assembling numerous measures to contain refugees in the South and to prevent them from accessing their territory, there can be few issues more important to the future of refugee protection. In this response I want to focus on the question of the desirability of proposals for what we might call differentiated responsibility between Northern and Southern states, the part of Aleinikoff and Owen’s discussion that considers whether ‘over there’ approaches might be acceptable from a realistic-utopian perspective.

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EUI Migration Policy Centre

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