In the book, three sets of interrelated questions were raised, why do refugee studies emphasize repatriation yet overlook problems of integration in post-repatriation context? What are the problems of belonging of refugees in exile? Lastly, under what conditions does ‘home’ assume significance in the ‘refugee narrative’, especially in their narrative of belonging? In this context, I investigated the rights of two refugee groups in exile in India and analysed their prospects of re-integration at ‘home’. The concluding chapter summarizes the arguments of the book on refugees, citizenship and belonging among two refugee groups—Tamils in Sri Lanka and Chakmas in Bangladesh. The Indian state favoured state-centric views on citizenship rights and determined a particular trajectory of belonging. The state project of these countries entails a rights-based interpretation of belonging within a particular demarcated territory that consciously excluded the non-citizens. These arguments assume renewed significance in relation to refugees in South Asia, as they share a peculiar relation with the host-state population. Contiguous borders and shared ethnicity between states in South Asia has led to much refugee movement across borders, and the Indian state has chosen to adopt a strict policy of non-recognition of refugee rights, which disfavours refugees and makes them susceptible to official repatriation. I argue that the asylum state views non-citizens’ rights through the lens of state-centric views of citizenship, which tend to privilege the claims of legitimate members, or citizens, as opposed to non-members, such as refugees, migrants and aliens.
- Lori, N. A. (2017). Statelessness ‘in-between’ statuses, and precarious citizenship. In A. Shachar, R. Baubock, I. Blomemraad, & M. Vink (Eds.), Oxford handbook of citizenship (pp. 743–767). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar