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      The End of the 1951 Refugee Convention? Dilemmas of Sovereignty, Territoriality, and Human Rights

      Jus Cogens

      Springer International Publishing

      Refugee Convention, Jurisdiction, Territorialization, Deterritorialization, Crim-migration

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          Abstract

          The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol are the main legal documents governing the movement of refugee and asylum seekers across international borders. As the number of displaced persons seeking refuge has reached unprecedented numbers, states have resorted to measures to circumvent their obligations under the Convention. These range from bilateral agreements condemning refugees to their vessels at sea to the excision of certain territories from national jurisdiction. While socio-economic developments and the rise of the worldwide web have led to deterritorialization of vast domains of the economy and the media which enable them to escape from state control, territorial presence, whether on terra firma or on vessels at sea which are functional surrogates for territorial sovereignty, continues to be the basis for the entitlement to human and citizens’ rights. We are facing a dual movement of deterritorialization and territorialization at once, both of which threaten the end of the 1951 Convention. This article is an exercise in non-ideal theory which, nonetheless, has implications for a seminal question in ideal democratic theory as to how to define and justify the boundaries of the demos. If the demos refers to the constitutional subject of a self-determining entity in whose name sovereignty is exercised, regimes of sovereignty, including those which govern the movement of peoples across borders, define the prerogatives as well as obligations of such sovereign entities under international law. The period ushered in by the 1951 Convention was such a sovereignty regime which today may be nearing its end.

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          Most cited references 40

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          The Problem of Global Justice

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              Extra Rempublicam Nulla Justitia?

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Seyla.benhabib@yale.edu
                Journal
                Jus Cogens
                Jus Cogens
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                2524-3977
                2524-3985
                28 July 2020
                : 1-26
                Affiliations
                GRID grid.47100.32, ISNI 0000000419368710, Department of Political Science, , Yale University, ; 115 Prospect Street, Rosenkranz Hall, New Haven, CT 06511 USA
                Article
                22
                10.1007/s42439-020-00022-1
                7385328
                © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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