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Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

18. Human Rights and Forced Migration  

Gil Loescher

This chapter examines the link between human rights and forced migration. It first considers the human rights problems confronting forced migrants both during their flight and during their time in exile before discussing the differing definitions accorded refugees today as well as the difficulty in coming up with a widely accepted definition. It then explores the roles and functions of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the international refugee regime. It also uses the case study of Myanmar to illustrate many of the human rights features of a protracted refugee and internal displacement crisis. Finally, it describes how the international community might respond to new and emerging challenges in forced migration and world politics, and better adapt to the ongoing tension between the power and interests of states and upholding refugee rights.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

12. Conclusion Justice and the Future of Global Politics  

This concluding chapter draws together some of the themes running throughout this book to address some key issues of justice and the future of global politics. In addition to outlining the concept of global justice, it deals with two contrasting normative approaches to issues in global politics, namely, cosmopolitanism and communitarianism, taking particular note of the debates that emerged in the post-Cold War period and which have been especially important for the analysis of human rights. The chapter looks at how these approaches map onto opposing strands of thought within the English school, namely, solidarism and pluralism. It then moves on to some specific issues in contemporary global politics involving the application of normative theory—citizenship, migration, and refugees. Finally, the chapter considers issues of intergenerational justice with respect to the normative links between past, present, and future and the responsibilities these entail.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights

Forced Migration and Refugees  

Gil Loescher and Kurt Mills

This chapter examines the human rights issues of forced migration and refugees. It recognizes refugees as the prima facie evidence of human rights abuses and vulnerability because people who are deprived of their homes and livelihood are forced to cross borders and seek safety overseas. Forced migration is a human rights concern as it raises serious political, economic, and security issues. Moreover, globalization created new opportunities and incentives for international migration and new diaspora networks. The chapter then covers the work of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as the UN's refugee agency. It covers the case study of forced displacement in Myanmar in line with the prolonged Burmese military regime that resulted in decades of political and minority group repression, conflict, poor governance, corruption, and underdevelopment.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

23. The Environment  

John Barry and Kerri Woods

This chapter examines the ways that environmental issues affect human rights and the relevance of human rights to environmental campaigns. It also evaluates proposals for extending human rights to cover environmental rights, rights for future generations, and rights for some non-human animals. The chapter begins with a discussion of the relationship between human rights and the environment, along with the notion that all persons have ‘environmental human rights’. It then analyses the impact of the environment on human security and its implications for human rights issues before considering case studies that illustrate how environmental issues directly impact on the human rights of the so-called environmental refugees, who are displaced from lands by the threat of climate change and also by development projects. Finally, the chapter describes the link between human rights and environmental sustainability.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

12. Social constructivism  

Michael Barnett

This chapter examines constructivist approaches to international relations theory. It explores whether there is a possibility of moral progress in world politics, whether some cultures and countries are more (or less) inherently violent, and whether states are motivated by power or by ideas. The chapter also discusses the rise of constructivism and some key concepts of constructivism, including the agent–structure problem, holism, idealism, individualism, materialism, and rational choice. It concludes with an analysis of constructivist assumptions about global change. Two case studies are presented, one relating to social construction of refugees and the 2015 European migration crisis, and the other to the ‘human rights revolution’ and torture. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the laws of war have made war less horrific.