1st Edition

Making and Unmaking Refugees Geopolitics of Social Ordering and Struggle within the Global Refugee Regime

Edited By Kara E. Dempsey, Orhon Myadar Copyright 2023

    This book examines the politics of making and unmaking refugees at various scales by probing the contradictions between the principles of international statecraft, which focus on the national/state level approach in regulating global forced displacement, and the forces that defy this state-based approach. It explores the ways by which the current global refugee categorizes and excludes millions of people who need protection. The investigations in this book move beyond the state scale to draw attention to the finer scales of displacement and forced mobility in the various, complex spaces of migration and asylum. By bringing refugees stories to the forefront, the chapters in this volume highlight diasporic activism and applaud the corresponding ingenuity and tenacity. This book also builds upon debates on the critical geopolitical understandings of states, displacement and bordering to advance theoretical understandings of refugee regimes as a critical geopolitical issue. With this collection, the contributors invite a more sustained conversation that draws attention to and focusses on the current global refugee crisis and the violence of exclusion of that same regime.

    This highly engaging and informative volume will be of interest to policymakers, academics and students concerned with global migration, refugee governance and crises. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Geopolitics.

    Introduction—Making and Unmaking Refugees: Geopolitics of Social Ordering and Struggle within the Global Refugee Regime

    Orhon Myadar and Kara E. Dempsey

    1. The Shifting Landscape of International Resettlement: Canada, the US and Syrian Refugees

    Pablo S. Bose

    2. Migrant Agency and Counter-Hegemonic Efforts Among Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands in Response to Geopolitical Control and Exclusion

    Kara E. Dempsey

    3. Diaspora Geopolitics in Toronto: Tamil Nationalism and the Aftermath of War in Sri Lanka

    Jennifer Hyndman, Amarnath Amarasingam and Gayathri Naganathan

    4. Geopoliticizing Geographies of Care: Scales of Responsibility Towards Sea-borne Migrants and Refugees in the Mediterranean

    Sara McDowell

    5. Place, Displacement and Belonging: The Story of Abdi

    Orhon Myadar


    Kara E. Dempsey is Associate Professor of Political Geography at Appalachian State University. She studies ethnonational conflicts, consolidation of state and regional power, international forced migration, and peace-building processes. She is the author of The Geopolitics of Conflict, Nationalism, and Reconciliation in Ireland (Routledge, 2022). She currently is serving as the president of the Political Geography Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers.

    Orhon Myadar is Associate Professor at University of Arizona. She is a political geographer interested in questions of power, ideology, mobility and identity within the context of shifting political landscapes. She is the author of Mobility and Displacement: Nomadism, Identity and Post-Colonial Narratives in Mongolia (Routledge, 2021).