Théorie politique

H13(b) - Cosmopolitanism, Immigration, and Refugees

Date: Jun 13 | Heure: 01:45pm to 03:15pm | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Conor Bean (Johns Hopkins University)

Institutionalizing Refugee Agency and Participation in the Global Refugee Regime: Kiran Banerjee (Dalhousie University)
Abstract: Policymakers, governments, and international organizations have begun to rethink approaches to refugee protection that have predominated for the past half-century. These have largely treated refugees as objects of humanitarian intervention, giving little place to voice or participation, thereby effacing the agency of displaced persons. This current development offers to address among the deepest normative failures of the current refugee regime: if refugeehood is theorized in terms of the denial what Hannah Arendt called the “right to have rights” then the treatment of displaced persons within the international system constitutes more of a continuation, rather than remedy or reprieve, of this a situation. Addressing the voice and agency of refugees is urgent and long overdue. However, formulating what meaningful representation and participation constitutes in this situation remains challenging. To address these considerations I proceed by taking up this issue from both normative and historical perspectives to map out and complicate the way representation could be understood in this context. I do so by reconstructing several distinctive models of representation to underscore the different normative considerations underlying these approaches. I conclude by showing how this should be applied to the refugee regime in order to both reform and transform contemporary international protection.

Social Inclusion and “The Right to Have Rights”: Perspectives from Resettled Refugees: Laila Khoshkar (University of Toronto)
Abstract: Hannah Arendt’s concept “the right to have rights” is arguably the starting point for political theorists interested in human rights. This phrase is understood to express two distinct notions of ‘right’: the first is the right to belong to a political community in which one’s speech and action is meaningful (i.e. political membership), and the second indicates the civic rights one has, by virtue of political membership, that are provided and protected by the political community to which one belongs. While resettled refugees in Canada do not have full state membership (citizenship), they are entitled to a wide set of civic rights by virtue of their legal status. Resettled refugees in Canada ostensibly, therefore, have “the right to have rights”. My question is: do resettled refugees in Canada experience their right to have rights meaningfully? My theoretical framework is premised on my contention that legal status is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the right to have rights to be experienced meaningfully. In addition to legal belonging, social belonging is required. In my proposed paper, I will consider how the lived experiences of resettled refugees in Canada inform my theoretical framework. To this end, I am conducting interviews with resettled refugees, to learn from them how their sense of social belonging in Canada impacts their experience of their rights in this country. Ultimately, consideration of individuals’ phenomenological experience of their rights can bolster our understanding of the conditions required for a meaningful right to have rights.