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This page intentionally left blankThe Ethics and Politics of AsylumAsylum has become a highly charged political issue across developedcountries, raisinga host of difficult ethical andpolitical questions. Whatresponsibilities do the world’s richest countries have to refugees arrivingat their borders? Are states justified in implementing measures to preventthe arrival of economic migrants if they also block entry for refugees? Is itlegitimate to curtail the rights of asylum seekers to maximise the numberof refugees receiving protection overall? This book draws upon politicaland ethical theory and an examination of the experiences of the UnitedStates, Germany, the United Kingdomand Australia to consider howto respond to the challenges of asylum. In addition to explaining whyasylum has emerged as such a key political issue in recent years, it pro-vides a compelling account of how states could move towards implentingmorally defensible responses to refugees. .  is Elizabeth Colson Lecturerin ForcedMigration at the Refugee Studies Centre, Queen Elizabeth House,University of Oxford, and Official Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford.He has published many articles on asylum and immigration and is theeditor of Globalizing Rights: The Oxford Amnesty Lectures (2003). He iscurrently editing (with Randall Hansen) a three-volume encyclopediaGlobal Migration in the Twentieth Century (forthcoming).The Ethics and Politicsof AsylumLiberal Democracy and the Response to RefugeesMatthew J. Gibneycambridge university pressCambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São PauloCambridge University PressThe Edinburgh Building, Cambridge cb2 2ru, UKFirst published in print format isbn-13 978-0-521-80417-2isbn-13 978-0-521-00937-9isbn-13 978-0-511-21056-3© Matthew J. Gibney, 20042004Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521804172This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision ofrelevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take placewithout the written permission of Cambridge University Press.isbn-10 0-511-21233-xisbn-10 0-521-80417-5isbn-10 0-521-00937-5Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of urlsfor external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does notguarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New Yorkwww.cambridge.orghardbackpaperbackpaperbackeBook (EBL)eBook (EBL)hardbackFor Chim`eneContentsAcknowledgements page viiiIntroduction 11. Partiality: community, citizenship and the defenceof closure 232. Impartiality: freedom, equality and open borders 593. The Federal Republic of Germany: the rise and fallof a right to asylum 854. The United Kingdom: the value of asylum 1075. The United States: the making and breaking of arefugee consensus 1326. Australia: restricting asylum, resettling refugees 1667. From ideal to non-ideal theory: reckoning with thestate, politics and consequences 1948. Liberal democratic states and ethicallydefensibleasylum practices 229List of references 261Index 279viiAcknowledgementsThis work began life in the 1990s at Cambridge University. At King’sCollege, I had the good fortune of being supervised by John Dunn. Notonly was he an enthusiastic supporter of the idea of bringing politicaltheory to bear on the (then far less controversial) topic of asylum, but heencouraged me to approach the topic in a way that confronted directlythe challenges it posed for normative theorising about politics. His wayof thinking about politics has remained with me over the last decade andI want to record my deep thanks to him here.I also had the pleasure of drawing upon the advice, friendship and gen-eral intellectual ambience provided by a wonderful group of Cambridgegraduate students in social and political sciences and philosophy. I wouldlike to thank, in particular, Jacky Cox, Sam Glover, Rob Hopkins, DonHubert, David Kahane and Melissa Lane. My long and enduring friend-ship with Jeremy Goldman, formed in my first days at Cambridge, beganwith a debate on Michael Walzer. In the years since this conversation, hehas taught me a great deal about what it is to think systematically aboutpolitical theory.My period at Cambridge was made possible by a generous scholarshipby the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellowship Plan, and near the endof the thesis by the financial support of King’s College and the HollandRose Trust.In the years since the thesis was submitted, I changed the text bothto update the empirical chapters and to take into account intellectualencounters with colleagues in New Haven, Connecticut; Cambridge,Massachusetts; and Oxford. A number of scholars in the UK, the US andCanada commented on the thesis or drafts of early chapters in many dif-ferent shapes and forms. Joe Carens, Gil Loescher, Brian Barry, RichardTuck, Howard Adelman, Andrew Linklater, Matthew Price, AndrewShacknove and Phil Triadafilopoulos, all provided useful comments. Iowe a particular debt to Rogers Smith, formerly of Yale University andnow at the University of Pennsylvania. My early period living in the USviii[...]... is characteristic of the communitarian, conservative and constitutionalist 23 24 The Ethics and Politics of Asylum realist strands of political theory.1 Writers in each of these strands have mostly ignored the issue of the responsibilities of states to refugees and foreigners more generally, concentrating their attention primarily on the reciprocal duties of citizens, those, in other words, already... with how they can be protected as the nature of the threat they face For threatened people already outside their country of origin, the question of whether or not they should be considered refugees is for the most part clear cut The only way of protecting such people in the short term is by granting them asylum where they are or helping them to move on to another safe country; no other form of assistance... Protocol and a range of other human rights instruments) and trumpet the moral importance of the principle of asylum A kind of schizophrenia seems to pervade Western responses to asylum seekers and refugees; great importance is attached to the principle of asylum but enormous efforts are made to ensure that refugees (and others with less pressing claims) never reach the territory of the state where they... that the relevance of an account of the resettlement or entrance duties of states will diminish in the foreseeable future 1 Partiality: community, citizenship and the defence of closure Do we want people to be virtuous? Let us then start by making them love their fatherland But how are they to love it if the fatherland is nothing more for them than for foreigners, and accords to them only what it cannot... economic, political and social consequences of asylum for a state This difficulty emerges because of the tendency of movements of migrants and refugees to ‘snowball’, thus confounding all expectations of the number of entrants likely under a particular policy or standard But it also grows out of the hazards of predicting the trajectory of the various factors that will determine the consequences of reception... bankruptcy of communism By the end of the 1970s, however, international economic recession and changes in the international economy had severely reduced the demand for external supplies of labour across the West The restrictive force of this development and changes in the patterns of refugee movement were simply reinforced by the end of the Cold War in 1989, which deprived Western states of an obvious... been empirical, have often been quick to criticise the ethical shortcomings of current state responses to refugees and asylum seekers But they have done little to shed light on what morality might actually demand in terms of the treatment of these entrants The possibility, for example, that the requirements of morality might be the subject of different interpretations or the site of conflicting values... from the character of existing states – by assuming, for instance, that their current schedule of responsibilities can be replaced – and, particularly in the case of global liberalism, from many of the features of the practical environment which currently shapes and constrains the responses of states to refugees, including the constraints that emerge from politics The result has been somewhat otherworldly... face of group loyalty Judith N Shklar 1993 Over the last twenty years, asylum has become one of the central issues in the politics of liberal democratic states In 1993 the German Parliament embarked upon the politically onerous task of amending the country’s constitution, the Basic Law, in order to slow the arrival of asylum seekers on to state territory One year later, the Clinton Administration in the. .. practical implications for the current policies of liberal democratic states I conclude this work by considering the justifiability of, first, practices that propose to trade off the rights of asylum seekers and refugees to maximise the availability of asylum, and, second, measures to restrict the entrance of asylum seekers and refugees on the grounds of national security Before I begin it is important . scholarshipby the Commonwealth Scholars and Fellowship Plan, and near the end of the thesis by the financial support of King’s College and the HollandRose. refugees and others in need of protection (as defined by the 1951 UN ConventionRelating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol and a range of other
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