Introduction . The Formation Of A Nation-State Has Created

Decent Essays
The formation of a nation-state has created binary categories of those who belong (citizens) and those who do not belong (‘aliens’) to the state. Complex socio-economic and geopolitical boundaries including territorial boundaries divide the citizens from ‘aliens’, and the state exercises sovereign power to protect the privileges of the former (Hayter, 2004). On the other hand, forced displacement is counterproductive to the notion of the state as a selective ‘container’ (Koser, 2003). For various reasons, states, policymakers, international bodies, institutions and local governors put displaced people into categories such as refugees, economic migrants, returnees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and others (Reed, 2012).
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In doing so, the essay synthesises a range of migration and international relations literature.
Evolution of the international refugee protection regime
In the aftermath of the WWII and the beginning of the Cold War tensions, the UNHCR began its mandate of addressing the issues of refugees as defined by the 1951 Geneva Convention with thirty-three staff and a $30,000 budget (Feller, 2001:131). Reflecting post-colonial European hegemonic structure and ignoring the upheavals of decolonisation in the ‘Third World,’ geographic and temporal limitations were embedded within the definition of a refugee. The convention recognises persons displaced before the first of January 1951 within the European geographical region (Nygh, 2000 and Loescher et al., 2008). Thus, the mandate of the UNHCR was apparently limited to the protection of refugees displaced before the drafting of the 1951 Geneva Convention and only within Europe. At this time, because of the strategic aims of the Cold War period and demand for labour, “refugees were welcomed noncitizens in many [European] countries” (Feller, 2001:129). In other words, the refugee regime was designed to provide geopolitical and economic responses to mass displacement due to Nazism and communism. After more than a decade and a half of this Eurocentric approach, the geographic and temporal limitations of the 1951 Geneva Convention were lifted by the 1967 protocol (Betts, 2010). By removing the
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