The Making of the Modern Refugee

The Making of the Modern Refugee


By (author) Peter Gatrell


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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 326 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 236mm x 30mm | 660g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199674167
  • ISBN 13: 9780199674169
  • Illustrations note: 9 black and white maps
  • Sales rank: 513,305

Product description

The Making of the Modern Refugee is a comprehensive history of global population displacement in the twentieth century. It takes a new approach to the subject, exploring its causes, consequences, and meanings. History, the author shows, provides important clues to understanding how the idea of refugees as a 'problem' embedded itself in the minds of policy-makers and the public, and poses a series of fundamental questions about the nature of enforced migration and how it has shaped society throughout the twentieth century across a broad geographical area - from Europe and the Middle East to South Asia, South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Wars, revolutions, and state formation are invoked as the main causal explanations of displacement, and are considered alongside the emergence of a twentieth-century refugee regime linking governmental practices, professional expertise, and humanitarian relief efforts. This new study rests upon scholarship from several disciplines and draws extensively upon oral testimony, eye-witness accounts, and film, as well as unpublished source material in the archives of governments, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations. The Making of the Modern Refugee explores the significance that refugees attached to the places they left behind, to their journeys, and to their destinations - in short, how refugees helped to interpret and fashion their own history.

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Author information

Peter Gatrell was educated at the University of Cambridge. In 1976 he joined the University of Manchester where he is currently Professor of Economic History and affiliated to new Humanitarian and Conflict Research Institute. He teaches courses on refugees in modern world history, Russian economic and social history, the cultural history of war, and the history of humanitarianism. He is the author of several books including The Tsarist Economy, 1850-1917 (1986), A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War 1 (1999), and Free World? The campaign to save the world's refugees, 1956-1963 (2011).

Review quote

Peter Gatrell has written a superb book. It is the starting point for anyone who wants to understand the recent historical roots of refugees. Carl Bon Tempo, American Historical Review Gatrell offers a deftly written, comprehensive and at times heartbreaking account of the mass movement of populations. Drawing from a rich array of primary and secondary materials, first-hand accounts and historical reflections, The Making of the Modern Refugee is a terrific introduction to the history of mass displacement in the past century. Michael Barnett, The European Review of History a major contribution to refugee history ... what elevates it is the author's awareness of refugees themselves ... each chapter could stand as a reference work on its own. The chapter on Palestine/Israel [is] a masterful piece of history writing The Making of the Modern Refugee will remain an essential work of historical synthesis for the foreseeable future that authors will have to consult before embarking on new research projects. Philip Peterson, History Gatrell also lets the refugees speak for themselves, which introduces still more complexity to our understanding of refugees and allows us to hear the voices of people too often portrayed as voiceless ...This represents a major contribution to an emerging body of literature on refugees Carl Lindskoog, H-Net the book is truly a tour de force [with] a vast scope. Frank Caestecker, Economic History Review insightful and empathetic ... this is a volume to be celebrated. Mezna Qato, Journal of Palestine Studies Highly recommended. J. M. Shumway, Choice, recommended for anybody frustrated by the parochialism of the debates about refugees and asylum seekers ... [Peter Gatrell] emphasises the importance of the global and historical context, and convincingly sketches it for us. Professor Klaus Neumann, The Canberra Times

Table of contents

Preface and acknowledgements ; List of maps and tables ; Introduction: The Making of the Modern Refugee ; PART 1: EMPIRES OF REFUGEES ; 1. Crucibles of Population Displacement before and during the Great War ; 2. Nation-states and the Birth of a 'Refugee Problem' in Inter-war Europe ; PART 2: MID-CENTURY MAELSTROM ; 3. Europe Uprooted: Refugee Crises and 'Durable Solutions' at Mid-Century ; 4. 'Nothing Except Commas': Jews, Palestinians, and the Torment of Displacement ; 5. Midnight's Refugees? Partition and its Aftermath in India and Pakistan ; 6. War and Population Displacement in East Asia, 1937-1950 ; PART 3: REFUGEES IN THE GLOBAL COLD WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH ; 7. 'Villages of Discipline': the Cold War and Refugees in South-East Asia ; 8. 'Long Road': Africa's Refugees, Decolonisation, and 'Development' ; 9. 'Some Kind of Freedom': Refugees, Homecoming, and Refugee Voices in Contemporary History ; Conclusion: Refugees and their History ; Further Reading