Public Seminar Series, Michaelmas term 2013. Seminar by Dr Alexander Betts (University of Oxford) recorded on 16 October 2013 at the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford.
The talk, based on Betts new book, will explore the challenge of responding to new drivers of cross-border displacement that fall outside the existing refugee framework. Rather than beginning with particular causes of displacement, whether environmental change, food insecurity or generalized violence, it offers a human rights-based framework through which to critically consider who, in a changing world, should be entitled to cross an international border and seek asylum. Based on extensive fieldwork, it grounds its analysis in an exploration of contemporary flight from three of the most fragile states in the world: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. It explains the massive variation in national and international institutional responses in the neighbouring states, arguing that politics rather than law ultimately determines how the refugee regime is implemented in practice.