The Law (and Politics) of Forced Displacement: Towards a History of the Present
Proceedings of the ASIL Annual Meeting, Volume 113, 2019
6 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 25, 2019
Coerced transfer of populations, it is often noted, is illegal under international law. This talk aims to challenge this basic premise. A certain tradition of international law fosters a much more ambiguous position towards the collective transfer of groups. Through several types of instruments allowing for collective transfer, historical and contemporary, international law has constantly played a key role in the transnational governance of populations. It is worthwhile to reevaluate the history of international law as a mode of population governance. With multiple unfolding and impending climate crises, the ambiguous role of international law in the mass movement of populations is likely to become ever-more-important.
Keywords: international law, refugees, migration, history, forced displacement, climate change
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