Refugee Responsibility Sharing or Responsibility Dumping?

A silver lining of recent migration crises is increased reliance on responsibility-sharing arrangements in international actor responses. This new experience allows for evidence-based analysis of such arrangements. We distinguish between progressive arrangements—ones that shift responsibilities to more affluent, institutionally competent, and safer countries—and regressive arrangements that do the opposite and in fact constitute responsibility dumping. […]

Empire, Borders, and Refugee Responsibility Sharing

International lawyers have been preoccupied with refugee responsibility sharing for decades, and with good reason. They have invested energy both in critiquing the existing regime and developing proposals for alternatives. However, the corresponding literature has largely, though not entirely, neglected two related but distinct phenomena: imperial domination and imperial intervention. I argue that attention to imperial domination and imperial intervention, which I define shortly, should unsettle the very frame of responsibility sharing and even asylum for many who are coerced into migration.

Recounting: An Optimistic Account of Migration

To be forced to move from a beloved home is a tragedy, no matter the cause. But such moves need not end tragically. Though the wounds of losing a homeland may never fully heal, people with the strength and resilience necessary to withstand these kinds of moves are also often well-equipped to build something positive out of pain. They can be tremendous assets to others in their newfound homes.

Responsibility Sharing Within Borders

The international community has long recognized the principle that countries should share responsibility for hosting and supporting refugees. The 2018 Global Compact on Refugees’ recognition of an “urgent need” for greater responsibility sharing across borders reflects widespread agreement that the existing distribution of responsibility among countries is unjust and unworkable. A number of low- and middle-income countries in the Global South are the primary hosts of refugees, while wealthier countries, such as Australia, many European countries, and the United States, deliberately prevent arrivals and strictly limit their acceptance of refugees. The resulting distribution of responsibility tracks the proximity to the countries from which refugees flee, and parallels neither the capacities of states to support refugees, nor the extent of their moral duties to do so.

Principles for Responsibility Sharing: Proximity, Culpability, Moral Accountability, and Capability

Responsibility sharing was a central commitment in the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.[1] It was also a key commitment in the preamble to the landmark 1951 Refugee Convention, in which countries of first asylum were promised “international cooperation” in return for providing refuge—though the Convention did not specify what this cooperation encompassed. And, just as the 1951 Refugee Convention failed to define what international cooperation meant, the New York Declaration was long on principles but short on specific commitments.

Instruments of Evasion: The Global Dispersion of Rights-Restricting Migration Policies

This Essay traces the global spread of legal techniques that strive, as official government policy documents explain, to “push the border out” as far away from the actual territorial border as possible. This concept, enthusiastically embraced by governments worldwide, involves screening people “at the source” or origin of their journey, not the destination, and then again at every possible checkpoint along the way. My study is devoted to tracing the core countries and actors that have facilitated the adoption of such policies. I show that desired destination countries systematically learn from, and emulate, each other’s innovations in asylum-denying laws and policies. The lens of diffusion, which guides the analysis, emphasizes processes of inter-jurisdictional learning and emulation. It invites us to ask how and why “ideas travel” across jurisdictions and to trace the complex ways in which states are interacting with one another in shaping their own border control policies.

The Real Enemies of Democracy

This article is a part of the 2020 Jorde Symposium. The other three pieces are linked below: The New Countermajoritarian Difficulty The New Pro-Majoritarian Powers Countering the Real Countermajoritarian Difficulty Professor Karlan argues that the Constitution is undemocratic and that the Supreme Court is not helping matters. There is some truth to those claims, but […]

Countering the Real Countermajoritarian Difficulty

This article is a part of the 2020 Jorde Symposium. The other three pieces are linked below: The New Countermajoritarian Difficulty The New Pro-Majoritarian Powers The Real Enemies of Democracy     Introduction Writing about the countermajoritarian difficulty is a rite of passage for constitutional law scholars. Indeed, the sheer number of articles that have […]

The New Pro-Majoritarian Powers

This article is a part of the 2020 Jorde Symposium. The other three pieces are linked below: The New Countermajoritarian Difficulty Countering the Real Countermajoritarian Difficulty The Real Enemies of Democracy In her Jorde Lecture, Pam Karlan paints a grim picture of American democracy under siege. Together, the malapportioned Senate, the obsolete Electoral College, rampant […]

The New Countermajoritarian Difficulty

This article is a part of the 2020 Jorde Symposium. The other three pieces are linked below: The New Pro-Majoritarian Powers Countering the Real Countermajoritarian Difficulty The Real Enemies of Democracy     Introduction The “countermajoritarian difficulty” was a central preoccupation for twentieth-century constitutional law scholars.[1] Alexander Bickel, who coined the phrase in The Least […]