Seminar given on 29 October 2014 by Dr Kirsten McConnachie (Refugee Studies Centre), part of the RSC Michaelmas term 2014 Public Seminar Series.
Refugee camps are imbued in the public imagination with assumptions of anarchy, danger and refugee passivity. 'Governing Refugees: Justice, Order and Legal Pluralism' marshals empirical data and ethnographic detail to challenge such assumptions, arguing that refugee camps should be recognised as spaces where social capital can not only survive, but thrive. In this talk, Dr McConnachie examines themes of community governance, order maintenance and legal pluralism in the context of refugee camps on the Thailand-Burma border. The nature of a refugee situation is such that multiple actors take a role in camp management, creating a complex governance environment which has a significant impact on the lives of refugees. This situation also speaks to deeply important questions of legal and political scholarship, including the production of order beyond the state, justice as a contested site, and the influence of transnational human rights discourses on local justice practice. Dr McConnachie's book presents valuable new research into the subject of refugee camps as well as an original critical analysis. Read more about the book here: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415834001/