The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) : The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a concise and comprehensive introduction to refugees and the United Nations agency that protects and assists them. Written by experts in the field, the book examines the relationship between global politics and the work of the Office of the UNHCR. It explores how the organization has adapted to the changing circumstances of world politics and the changing nature of forced displacement since its creation over 60 years ago. Drawing from the lessons of the past, it offers insights into how the organization will be able to navigate present and future challenges. Key topics discussed include:

UNHCR as an actor in world politics since 1950;

The refugee definition and protection instruments;

Institutional strengths and weaknesses;

Asylum crises in the global North and global South;

Protracted refugee situations and internally displaced persons; and

Key challenges faced by UNHCR for the future.

This third edition has been fully updated to account for recent developments within UNHCR, including structural and management changes and new initiatives, and in the global dynamics of forced migration, such as the crisis in Syria and debates in Europe. It also aims to expand our understanding of the political context within which UNHCR functions. The book seeks to develop an analytical tool-kit for UNHCR to navigate changes in the configuration of global power and to engage with new and emerging actors that have the ability to affect the organization's work.

This book will be of great interest to students, scholars and practitioners of global politics and international relations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 140 x 216mm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • 3rd New edition
  • 113869729X
  • 9781138697294

About Alexander Betts

Alexander Betts is Leopold Muller Professor in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and a Fellow of Green-Templeton College at the University of Oxford, UK. He has worked at UNHCR headquarters and is the author of Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime (2009).

Gil Loescher is Visiting Professor in the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, UK, and Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, USA. He is the author of several books on refugees and international relations, including The UNHCR and World Politics (2001).

James Milner is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University, Canada. He is the author of Refugees, the State and the Politics of Asylum in Africa (2009).
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23 ratings
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