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Forced Migration, Refugees, and Asylum

Nadine El-Enany and Eiko R. Thielemann


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Comment on this article   Forced migration and refugee and asylum issues are, by definition, often a matter of international politics as they affect the relationship between countries of origin and countries of destination. Recent estimates by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees suggest that in 2007 there were more than 10 million asylum seekers and refugees worldwide: that is, individuals who left their home country to seek protection in another country ( UNHCR 2007 ). This paper seeks to provide an overview of the multidisciplinary academic literature on forced migration, its key debates and major contributions. Although it attempts to provide as balanced and comprehensive an account as possible, the sheer scope of the subject means that choices as to the geographical, theoretical, and empirical coverage of the paper had to be made. The paper takes as its main focus the question of how the global refugee framework and regional legal regimes on forced migration (such as that of the European Union) have come about, how they have been assessed, and what attempts have been made to reform them. By way of conclusion, the piece identifies a number of key areas for future research. Refugees were first defined collectively at the international level, recognized on the basis of a group identity. After World War I, when the League of Nations moved to provide legal protection ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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