chapter  5
16 Pages

Refuge or Refusal

ByJennifer Hyndman, Alison Mountz

Where the threat of persecution or violence exists, the exclusion of people from spaces that are safe is a dangerous political act. e twentieth century saw the creation of the political refugee with the ratication of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. e latter extended the geographic scope of the convention beyond Europe aer WWII to all world regions with no time limit. Nation-states are, however, currently reconguring their policies toward potential refugee claimants. With the implementation of policies that favor state security over human security, governments are slowly eroding international commitments to protect by undermining the chances for potential refugees to reach sovereign territory and make claims. is chapter focuses on the increasingly restricted mobility of those eeing violence and persecution while recognizing that those seeking protection are not so dierent from impoverished migrants: so-called economic refugees seeking more secure living arrangements. We detail some of the tactics being employed to further the agenda of exclusion. Because of these tactics, asylum seekers increasingly arrive with the assistance of human smugglers, having traveled in groups known to policymakers as “mixed ows.” We aim to address broader, pressing questions at hand regarding the changing practice and geography of sovereign power. Whether the twenty-rst century will answer the humanitarian questions opened by its predecessor by ushering in the end of the era of the refugee remains to be seen.