Refugee Dignity in Protracted Exile: Rights, Capabilities and Legal Empowerment, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Refugee Dignity in Protracted Exile

Rights, Capabilities and Legal Empowerment, 1st Edition

By Anna Lise Purkey


272 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367349530
pub: 2019-12-30
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This book investigates how effective human rights and the inherent dignity of refugees can be secured in situations of protracted exile and encampment. The book deploys an innovative human rights-based capabilities approach to address fundamental questions relating to law, power, governance, responsibility and accountability in refugee camps.

Adopting an original theoretical framework, the author demonstrates that legal empowerment can change the distribution of power in a given refugee situation, facilitating the exercise of individual agency and assisting in the reform of the opportunity structure available to the individual. Thus, by helping to increase the capability of refugees to participate actively in the decisions that most affect their core rights and interests, participatory approaches to legal empowerment can also assist in securing other capabilities, ultimately ensuring that refugees are able to live dignified lives while in protracted exile.

Ultimately, the book demonstrates that legal empowerment for refugees can bring lasting benefits in establishing trust between refugees, the state, and local communities. It will be of interest to researchers within the fields of refugee studies, international law, development studies, and political science, as well as to policy makers and practitioners working in the fields of refugee assistance and humanitarian intervention.

Table of Contents


1. The Exclusion of Long-term Refugees from the Law: Creating Situations of Protracted Rights-"less"-ness

2. The State-Refugee Fiduciary Relationship: The Legal Obligation to Secure Human Rights-based Capabilities

3. A Challenge to Power: Legal Empowerment as an Enabling Central Capability

4. The Faces of Legal Empowerment in Protracted Refugee Situations

5. Critical Engagement: Adopting a Participatory Approach to Legal Empowerment


About the Author

Anna Lise Purkey is Summer Course Director and Research Affiliate at the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, Toronto

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Development, Displacement and Resettlement

This series is concerned with the complex global issue of forced migration, from its causes and resulting implications to potential responses and solutions. With the numbers of forcibly displaced people around the world hitting record levels in recent years, including refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers, this is an issue that affects not only those communities and countries that people are fleeing from, but also those they are fleeing to.

The series will explore the various mechanisms by which people undergo forced movement, such as war, conflict, environmental disaster, development projects, persecution, ecological degradation, famine, human trafficking and ethnic cleansing. It also seeks to promote a fuller understanding of the implications of forced displacement and how scholars, policy-makers, NGO advocates and those working in the field can collectively develop adequate responses.

To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Helena Hurd ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Emigration & Immigration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Emigration & Immigration
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries