This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at


Project: Refugees and Forced Displacement: International Security, Human Vulnerability and the State

This research project examines a range of issues and challenges that arise out of refugees and displaced people in modern conflict and international relations. The objective is to highlight the theoretical, normative and policy implications attached to human displacement. A number of results have been generated: Refugees and human displacement can be both a cause and a consequence of conflict within societies and regionally. As such, the management of refugee movements and the protection of displaced people should be an integral - not peripheral - part of security policy and conflict management. At the same time, refugees and forcibly displaced people can represent the starkest example of a tension between 'human security' - where the primary focus is the individual and communities - and more conventional models of 'national security' tied to the sovereign state. This project addresses a number of pressing problems, covering international law, internally displaced persons, asylum, the actors and institutions involved in refugee protection, and the return and reintegration of displaced people. In doing so, it argues that there is a need to reappraise the legal, political, normative, institutional and conceptual frameworks through which the international community addresses refugees and displacement.

See the forthcoming UNU Press book:

Refugees and Forced Displacement:
International Security, Human Vulnerability and the State
, edited by Edward Newman and Joanne van Selm


Part I: Political, Security and Normative Perspectives
Refugees, International Security and Human Vulnerability: Introduction and survey Edward Newman
Refugees as Grounds for International Action Gil Loescher
Refugees, Displacement and International Relations: Concepts in Conflict Gary Troeller
Refugee Protection Policies and Security Issues Joanne van Selm
Human Security and the Protection of Refugees Astri Suhrke
Thinking Ethically About Refugees: A case for the transformation of global governance Mervyn Frost
The Early Warning of Forced Migration: State or Human Protection? Susanne Schmeidl
Part II: Displacement, Return and Resettlement
Towards a Protection Regime for Internally Displaced Persons Erin D. Mooney
Reconciling Control and Compassion? Human Smuggling and the Right to Asylum Khalid Koser
Post-Conflict Peace-building and the Return of Refugees: Concepts, Practices and Institutions B.S.Chimni
Long-Term Challenges of Conflict Reconstruction and Reintegration: Case Studies of Haiti and Bosnia Patricia Weiss Fagen
Sovereignty, Gender and Displacement Julie Mertus
Part III: Actors and Institutions
Securitizing Sovereignty? States, Refugees, and the Regionalization of International Law Gregor Noll
A New Tower Of Babel? Reappraising the Architecture of Refugee Protection William Maley
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: Media images of refugees and asylum seekers Peter Mares
Changing Roles of NGOs in Refugee Assistance Mark Raper