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Article Dans Une Revue Refugee Survey Quarterly Année : 2007

Refugee Studies and the International Refugee Regime. A Reflection on a Desirable Separation

Résumé

This paper aims to reflect from an anthropological perspective on the fact that, by taking the category of 'refugees' as both the primary focus and the boundary for its research, Refugee Studies is underpinned by definitions that originate from policy. It contends that the definitions of categories of people (such as "refugees", "migrants", "IDPs", etc.) arising from the refugee and humanitarian regime are not necessarily meaningful in t academic field from an analytical point of view. Empirical research has demonstrate that in practice it is not possible to apply these definitions to separate discrete class migrants. They are policy related labels, designed to meet the needs of policy rather than of scientific enquiry. Moreover, as products of a specific system, they bear assumptions which reflect the principles underlying the system itself. For these reasons Refugee Studies needs to maintain analytical independence from the refugee regime. This would require inter alia disentangling the analysis from policy categories and including policy as one the objects of study The first section argues that in the context of academic research descriptive scope of the term "refugee" is limited; in fact, empirical research shows that the refugee label does not define a sociological relevant group. The second section turns to the policy arena and to the shaping of labels by international actors. Two moments are analysed: the creation of a refugee regime separate from the one of migration after the Second World War and the current debate on the "asylum-migration nexus". The third section presents the main assumptions conveyed by the refugee label as a product of the international refugee regime, that is a state centred and sedentary bias.
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Dates et versions

hal-04423859 , version 1 (29-01-2024)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04423859 , version 1

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Giulia Scalettaris. Refugee Studies and the International Refugee Regime. A Reflection on a Desirable Separation. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 2007, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 26 (3), pp.36-50. ⟨hal-04423859⟩

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