International Refugee Law Between Scholarship and Practice

International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 32(2), Forthcoming

iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 180, 2019

25 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2019

See all articles by Rosemary Byrne

Rosemary Byrne

Trinity College (Dublin) - Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS)

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts

Date Written: November 29, 2019

Abstract

Current challenges to the traditionally privileged position of law in both refugee policy and refugee studies invite scholars to consider carefully the approach we take to our craft. We argue that refugee law scholarship is surrounded by thin walls, as researchers broker the ‘dual imperative’ to simultaneously advance knowledge and protection in a field heavily influenced by policy interests and networks of practitioners that actively take part in, and promote, scholarly production. These close links with the policy world continue to shape the research agenda, scholarly positions and methodologies applied within the research field. This article departs from Bourdieusian field theory and legal sociology to offer a prism through which to look at the forces that influence refugee law scholarship and the implications for the field. We argue that greater sensitivity to the underlying dynamics of our profession is essential, not only to ensure more inclusivity in the community of scholars and expand the current canon of refugee law, but ultimately also to sustain claims to policy relevance.

Keywords: international law, international refugee law, field theory, academia, legal sociology

Suggested Citation

Byrne, Rosemary and Gammeltoft-Hansen, Thomas, International Refugee Law Between Scholarship and Practice (November 29, 2019). International Journal of Refugee Law, Vol. 32(2), Forthcoming, iCourts Working Paper Series, No. 180, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3495530 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3495530

Rosemary Byrne

Trinity College (Dublin) - Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) ( email )

The Sutherland Centre, Level 6, Arts Building
Trinity College
Dublin 2
Ireland

Thomas Gammeltoft-Hansen (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - iCourts - Centre of Excellence for International Courts ( email )

Studiestraede 6
Copenhagen, DK-1455
Denmark

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