Forced to Flee: Human Rights and Human Wrongs in Refugee Homelands (Program in Migration and Refugee Studies)

‘The Modern Refugee Era’ began with the end of World War II. An extensive literature has been created on the issue of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons during this period. While much of this has focused on refugee ‘flight’ and ‘post-flight,’ Forced to Flee uniquely looks at the ‘pre-flight’ environment and the factors contributing to human rights violations therein. It is due to these abuses that many people flee their homelands. Author Peter W. Van Arsdale presents first-hand fieldwork conducted over a 30-year span in six refugee homelands ranging from Sudan to Bosnia. This expert research bridges the emergent refugee and human rights regimes, while addressing theories of obligation, justice, and structural inequality. Van Arsdale also deftly tackles the difficult ideas of compassion, suffering, and evil, and introduces the concept of ‘pragmatic humanitarianism.’ Forced to Flee is a comprehensive study that should be of great interest to scholars and practitioners of anthropology, sociology, social work, political science, and environmental studies.