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Published April 25, 2022 | Version v1
Working paper Open

Conceptualizing the Right to International Protection: A Cleavage Theory Approach

  • 1. Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen

Description

Despite clear humanitarian intensions behind the international protection system, different ideological interpretations and practices of the right to international protection have recurrently been a massive challenge for the implementation of the international refugee law. Not surprisingly, critical voices rising from some states, organizations, scholars, and not least constantly growing citizen grievances, indicate that the United Nations’ Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) is not an exception from this historical trend. Politicization of the right to international protection has been further exacerbated by financial crises, refugee crises, and the recent public health crisis brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. The crises have subsided refugee protection and catalyzed its politicization. Despite its predicaments, the GCR can be a new window of opportunity for advancing the right to international protection even in this gloomy picture. For this to happen, the right to international protection should be understood correctly, and realistically, as a global conflict and contestation issue. Understanding the ways in which society is divided into groups with different political beliefs and different stances on international protection – known as political cleavages – will help policy actors navigate the current global political landscape more predictably in their efforts to achieve their policy goals.  

As the paper will show later, the groups contesting in the global political cleavage system (GPCS) for having their own international protection perspectives prevail, offer different legal norms, governance modes, and a variety of discourses on refugees, adding up to distinct alternative visions of international protection policy.

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Additional details

Funding

PROTECT – THE RIGHT TO INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION: A PENDULUM BETWEEN GLOBALIZATION AND NATIVIZATION? 870761
European Commission