Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics, and Humanitarian Governance Edited by Adele Gamier, Liliana Lyra Jubilut, and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik Oxford, UK: Berghahn, 2018, 317 pp.
In the first decades after the Second World War, refugee policy meant resettlement and foreign aid. Since the 1980s, resettlement took a back seat to repatriation and asylum as dominant themes within refugee policy discourse. And now, it seems that it is back.
Since 2015, when the global refugee crisis commanded a greater share of international news, expanding resettlement has been seen as an important part of the solution. The Global Compact on Refugees, affirmed in December 2018 by the un General Assembly, identified expanded access to third-country solutions as a key objective of international cooperation.
For this reason, Refugee Resettlement: Power, Politics, and Humanitarian Governance is timely. Few volumes have studied refugee resettlement within an international comparative framework. This alone makes the book worthwhile: to obtain a perspective on third-country solutions with a wider set of cases and longer time horizon than other books on resettlement in the United States, Canada, and Australia--the three primary destinations for resettled refugees.
The volume's organizing concept is "humanitarian governance," the ways in which refugee resettlement involves both care for the vulnerable and control over their lives. In the introductory chapter, the editors describe how this concept directs the analysis of the chapters that follow, as they consider the ways in which power operates in resettlement. Resettlement works in a multi-level system in which international organizations, national governments, and other agencies all shape the journeys and opportunities of refugees moving through resettlement.
The subsequent chapters trace the ways in which resettlement has operated as a form of humanitarian governance at the international and regional levels, at the national level, and in particular cases. A chapter by van Selm considers the rise of "strategic use of resettlement," and those by Sandvik and Jubilut and Zumar examine the evolution of resettlement within Africa (as a source of refugees) and South America (as a destination), respectively. The latter two chapters are distinctive for their novelty, by revealing how resettlement has featured within the refugee policies of states and institutions that are often peripheral to a policy conversation typically...