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Asylum as Reparation

Refuge and Responsibility for the Harms of Displacement

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Provides a novel theoretical consideration - the extent to which states owe asylum to refugees as a form of reparation

  • Offers a fresh account of states’ responsibilities to refugees that is theoretically rich and practically relevant

  • Addresses conflicts and ethical tensions involved in refugees’ arrival, offering a distinctive conception of asylum

Part of the book series: International Political Theory (IPoT)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-62448-4
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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xi
  2. Introduction

    • James Souter
    Pages 1-19
  3. Asylum as a Form of Reparation

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 21-21
    2. Asylum and its Humanitarian Function

      • James Souter
      Pages 23-42
    3. Asylum’s Reparative Function

      • James Souter
      Pages 43-63
  4. The Conditions of Asylum as Reparation

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 65-67
    2. Causality and Outcome Responsibility

      • James Souter
      Pages 69-89
    3. Unjustified Harm

      • James Souter
      Pages 91-112
    4. Reparative Fittingness

      • James Souter
      Pages 113-133
    5. Reparation and Capability

      • James Souter
      Pages 135-150
  5. Domestic and International Implications

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 151-151
    2. Conclusion

      • James Souter
      Pages 189-194

About this book

“Souter is the first to provide a systematic and comprehensive reflection on the idea that under certain circumstances states can be morally required to grant asylum as reparation for unjustified harms. His discussion is clear, careful, and philosophically sophisticated. This is an important contribution.”

Joseph H. Carens, University of Toronto, Canada 

“What does justice for refugees require? James Souter provides fresh insights into this critical question through his incisive examination of asylum as a form of reparation. Souter illuminates responsibilities towards those displaced in conflicts and in connection with colonial legacies and the effects of climate change, and the conditions in which the provision of asylum may help to redress such complex harms. This ambitious and important book will be of great interest to anyone concerned with respect for refugees’ rights, and accountability for harms endured by forced migrants.”

Megan Bradley, Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar, Political Science and International Development Studies, McGill University, Canada


This book argues that states have a special obligation to offer asylum as a form of reparation to refugees for whose flight they are responsible. It shows the great relevance of reparative justice, and the importance of the causes of contemporary forced migration, for our understanding of states’ responsibilities to refugees. Part I explains how this view presents an alternative to the dominant humanitarian approach to asylum in political theory and some practice. Part II outlines the conditions under which asylum should act as a form of reparation, arguing that a state owes this form of asylum to refugees where it bears responsibility for the unjustified harms that they experience, and where asylum is the most fitting form of reparation available. Part III explores some of the ethical implications of this reparative approach to asylum for the workings of states’ asylum systems and the international politics of refugee protection. 


James Souter is a lecturer at the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, UK. He holds a DPhil from the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and has published articles in academic journals such as Political Studies, International Affairs and the Journal of Social Philosophy.           

Keywords

  • Reparative Approach to Asylum
  • Humanitariansm
  • Solidarist Asylum
  • Asylum’s Moral Functions
  • Justified Displacement
  • Reparative Justice
  • Humanitarian Intervention
  • Asylum Policies

Reviews

“Souter is the first to provide a systematic and comprehensive reflection on the idea that under certain circumstances states can be morally required to grant asylum as reparation for unjustified harms. His discussion is clear, careful, and philosophically sophisticated. This is an important contribution.”

Joseph H. Carens, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Canada.

 

“How should the role of external states in generating refugee flows inform our understanding of obligations to refugees? In this book James Souter provides a lucid and compelling response to this question that elaborates the place of reparations within the moral functions of asylum. Working through a range of cases, Souter demonstrates the scope and significance of this reparative function for state responsibilities and its important role in strengthening the international refugee regime. This is a vital contribution to the political ethics of asylum that significantly develops the field.”

- Professor David Owen, Politics and International Relations, School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.

 

“In this excellent book, James Souter explores the urgent question of state responsibility for asylum. Which countries should be responsible for refugees, and why? He provides an original, compelling, and nuanced case for viewing asylum as reparation for states’ role in the causes displacement, whether due to military intervention, climate change, or colonial legacies. Asylum as Reparation is a significant contribution to Political Theory and Refugee Studies, which will be of great interest to students, researchers, and practitioners interested in the design of more just refugee policies.”

- Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, University of Oxford.

 

“This book fills an important gap in the literature on the ethics of asylum, by detailing how asylum can be a form of reparation rather than mainly a fulfilment of humanitarian obligations. Unlike dominant accounts of asylum, this book emphasises the role of refugee-receiving states in contributing to the production of refugees. This emphasis ought to strongly impact how the literature as a whole understands asylum, leading us towards a more political and historical understanding. The book is exceptionally well-written and, as the first account of asylum as reparation, will be one of the key texts in this field.”

- Clara Sandelind, University of Manchester

 

“Asylum as Reparation is an insightful, sophisticated, original work that forces us to rethink the traditional moral basis for protecting refugees. By highlighting the need to take the historical wrongs suffered by the displaced seriously, Souter has produced a book that is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of asylum.”

-Matthew J. Gibney, Professor of Politics and Forced Migration, University of Oxford

 

“What does justice for refugees require? James Souter provides fresh insights into this critical question through his incisive examination of asylum as a form of reparation. Souter illuminates responsibilities towards those displaced in conflicts and in connection with colonial legacies and the effects of climate change, and the conditions in which the provision of asylum may help to redress such complex harms. This ambitious and important book will be of great interest to anyone concerned with respect for refugees’ rights, and accountability for harms endured by forced migrants.”

Megan Bradley, Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar, Political Science and International Development Studies, McGill University, Canada


Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

    James Souter

About the author

James Souter is a lecturer at the School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, UK. He holds a DPhil from the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and has published articles in academic journals such as Political Studies, International Affairs and the Journal of Social Philosophy.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-62448-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)