Alexander Betts, University of Oxford, gives a talk for the COMPAS seminar series
The seminar, based on Betts' new book, explores the challenge of responding to new drivers of cross-border displacement that fall outside the existing refugee framework. Rather than beginning with particular causes of displacement - whether environmental change, food insecurity, or generalized violence - it offers a human rights-based framework through which to critically consider who, in a changing world, should be entitled to cross an international border and seek asylum. Based on extensive fieldwork, it grounds its analysis in an exploration of contemporary flight from three of the most fragile states in the world: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia. It explains the massive variation in national and international institutional responses in the neighbouring states, arguing that politics rather than law ultimately
determines how the refugee regime is implemented in practice.