Summary of Imagining Refugia

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Today, over 65 million displaced people reside in temporary living spaces both within and outside their home nations. Yet individual countries and international organizations alike struggle to garner the resources and political will to find satisfying solutions to this crisis. Therefore, argues Nicholas Van Hear of the University of Oxford, it's time to help refugees help themselves. In an essay in Foreign Affairs, he proposes the creation of a transnational polity, dubbed “Refugia,” which would give refugees the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What a transnational polity for refugees might entail; and
  • What aspects of Refugia already exist in the world today.
 

About the Author

Nicholas Van Hear is the Deputy Director of University of Oxford's Centre on Migration, Policy, and Society (COMPAS). 

 

Summary

Today, many of the world’s 65 million displaced people live in temporary shelters or are left to fend for themselves in host cities for years, unable to gain lawful employment and start a new life. The three options for dealing with refugees presently at the international community's disposal include repatriation, local integration, and resettlement. But only a small number of refugees benefit from these solutions. To truly fix the problem of mass displacement, the international community must formulate a new approach. Creating a transnational refugee confederation, dubbed “Refugia,” offers one possible solution.


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