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New Books in Philosophy | No Refuge

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New Books Podcast, October 2020

Discourse in wealthy Western countries about refugees tends to follow a familiar script. How many refugees is a country morally required to accept? What kinds of care and support are host countries required to provide? Who is responsible to maintaining the resulting infrastructure? What, ultimately, is to be done with refugees? Many of these questions assume that states are morally required to rescue refugees. Rarely does the discourse consider the role of wealthy Western countries in creating the conditions under which a refugee crisis emerges. More importantly, we often overlook the role of wealthy Western countries in designing the systems that refugees must navigate in order to access support and assistance; as it turns out, these systems are often complex, inefficient, unfair, and haphazard. In No Refuge: Ethics and the Global Refugee Crisis (Oxford UP, 2020), Serena Parekh argues that the refugee crisis needs to be understood as two crises: one crisis focused on the moral responsibilities of wealthy Western countries in hosting refugees, and another having to do with the obstacles and impediments that refugees confront in accessing assistance.

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