In this volume, we have considered the role of law and policy in making and unmaking the refugee category through an interdisciplinary lens. Our starting point is that the cornerstone of refugee identity is the legal and normative framework of protection enshrined in the Refugee Convention, 1 and that refugee identity is shaped by the particular legal, political and social processes that surround asylum-seeking. Our aim is to examine what we term ‘the paradox of protection’ – that is, the protection afforded by the Refugee Convention definition creates conflicting identities conferred through such processes. The role of law, legal policy and the legal process has played a central role within our analysis. Of particular concern is the power of law and its institutions in describing and making refugee identity, and the consequent implications for protection. Not only is such power ever present in the increasing global and regional securitisation of asylum and migration (see, for example, Zetter, Chapter 2; Guild, Chapter 8), but it is very evident in governmental attempts to directly or indirectly alter state responsibilities to asylum seekers and refugees (Galloway, Chapter 3; Björnberg, Chapter 11; Ambrosini, Chapter 12). We are also interested in the dialectical process at play in which the law not only influences but is itself influenced by individuals, communities, society, politics and government. A final concern is the meaning and content of protection itself, and the interconnection between the development of a (legal) concept of protection and refugee identity.