21 June 2018

BOOK: Simon BEHRMAN, Law and Asylum : Space, Subject, Resistance [Law and Migration ] (London: Routledge, 2018). ISBN 9781138304178, £92.00.

(Source: Routledge)

Routledge has published a book which deals with aspects of the history of refugee and asylum law.


In contrast to the claim that refugee law has been a key in guaranteeing a space of protection for refugees, this book argues that law has been instrumental in eliminating spaces of protection, not just from one’s persecutors but also from the grasp of sovereign power. By uncovering certain fundamental aspects of asylum as practised in the past and in present day social movements, namely its concern with defining space rather than people and its role as a space of resistance or otherness to sovereign law, this book demonstrates that asylum has historically been antagonistic to law and vice versa. In contrast, twentieth-century refugee law was constructed precisely to ensure the effective management and control over the movements of forced migrants. To illustrate the complex ways in which these two paradigms – asylum and refugee law – interact with one another, this book examines their historical development and concludes with in-depth studies of the Sanctuary Movement in the United States and the Sans-Papiers of France.


Simon Behrman is lecturer in law at Royal Holloway, University of London.


Part I – The Space of Asylum
Chapter One: The Rise and Fall of Asylum in Antiquity
Chapter Two: Sanctuary in England
Part II – The Creation of the Refugee Subject
Chapter Three: The Nation-State Origins of Refugee Law
Chapter Four: The Evolution and Impact of International Refugee Law
Part III – Resistance: Grassroots Asylum
Chapter Five: The US Sanctuary Movement
Chapter Six: The Sans-Papiers

More information with the publisher

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