Refugees, Democracy and the Law


Présentation de l’éditeur

The book provides an in-depth discussion of democratic theory questions in relation to refugee law.

The work introduces readers to the evolution of refugee law and its core issues today, as well as central lines in the debate about democracy and migration. Bringing together these fields, the book links theoretical considerations and legal analysis. Based on its specific understanding of the refugee concept, it offers a reconstruction of refugee law as constantly confronted with the question of how to secure rights to those who have no voice in the democratic process. In this reconstruction, the book highlights, on the one hand, the need to look beyond the legal regulations for understanding the challenges and gaps in refugee protection. It is also the structural lack of political voice, the book argues, which shapes the refugee’s situation. On the other hand, the book opposes a view of law as mere expression of power and points out the dynamics within the law which reflect endeavors towards mitigating exclusion.

The book will be essential reading for academics and researchers working in the areas of migration and refugee law, legal theory and political theory.

Dana Schmalz is a scholar of international law and legal philosophy. She is a postdoctoral fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and a visiting scholar at Columbia Law School, New York.



I. The refugee

Chapter 1 Who is a refugee?

Chapter 2 Who decides who is a refugee?

II. Democracy’s edges

Chapter 3 Citizenship and the claiming of rights

Chapter 4 Democracy between the need for institutions and demands of inclusion

III. The legal conditions of refugees’ political voice

Chapter 5 Institutions of refugees’ political participation

Chapter 6 The role of associative rights for refugees’ political voice

Chapter 7 Humanitarian government and the political membership of refugees

Chapter 8 Representation of refugees in international forums

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