Rethinking asylum : history, purpose, and limits /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Price, Matthew E., 1975-
Imprint:Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Description:x, 279 p. ; 24 cm.
Subject:Asylum, Right of.
Asylum, Right of.
Electronic books.
Format: E-Resource Book
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9780521881166 (hbk.)
0521881161 (hbk.)
9780521707473 (pbk.)
0521707471 (pbk.)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-269) and index.
Electronic reproduction. Palo Alto, Calif. : ebrary, 2009. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ebrary affiliated libraries.
Review by Choice Review

Price (Harvard Univ.) presents a strong case for a political interpretation of the right to asylum. Utilizing a wide variety of sources, he questions the utility and value of broadened definitions of this right, based on humanitarian considerations. Asylum cases now fall under the "nexus clause" of the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which concentrates on "persecution." However, no universally accepted definition of persecution exists. Grants of asylum had frequently been based on partisan considerations, with limited attention given to violence by private groups or individuals. At the same time, however, backlash against non-natives has resulted in increasingly restrictive national policies, court decisions, and administrative fiats. Governments should utilize an "accountability approach," Price argues, looking closely at the legitimacy of the states from which would-be asylum seekers have fled. Legitimacy must serve as the touchstone for defining persecution, not humanitarian considerations or economic affluence. Although refugee policy has increasingly adopted a "palliative" approach, procedural measures have made it more difficult to have asylum claims "heard on their merits." Thus, refugees seeking asylum are "far worse off today than they were fifteen years ago"--an appropriate conclusion to this well-written and documented book. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. C. E. Welch University at Buffalo, SUNY

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review