A Return to Interests?
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In advance of this year’s World Refugee Day on 20 June 2014, the UNHRC announced that the number of refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum-seekers exceeded 50 million people globally for the first time in the post-WWII era (UNHCR, 2014). In Survival Migration, Alexander Betts presents a timely analysis of this despairing global refugee crisis and the failure of international norms and practices designed to alleviate its symptoms. Betts’ objective is to move beyond large-n analysis of patterns of diffusion and compliance with international refugee norms and law towards a critical discussion of the political, economic and social factors that shape host countries’ willingness and capacity to extend refugee protection on the ground. The degree of variation in national-level responses to refugee plights is shocking, revealing glaring holes in the international protection regime. In turn, Betts’ punchline is clear and compelling: it is not enough for states to signal adherence to...
- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2014) War’s human cost: UNHCR global trends 2013, http://www.unhcr.org/5399a14f9.html, accessed 21 June 2014.