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Forms of activism on refugee protection in a British Overseas Territory: conventional, contentious, cultural

Demetriou, Olga (2023) Forms of activism on refugee protection in a British Overseas Territory: conventional, contentious, cultural. GreeSE Papers: Hellenic Observatory Discussion Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe (191). Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper begins from the premise that refugee protection is a field of contestation between practices that co-determine what is a proper refugee and what is a proper state. It locates this contestation in three forms of activism explored in turn: conventional, contentious, and cultural. It takes the example of refugees stranded on the British Bases in Cyprus as a micro-case of how these different forms of politics results in institutional and non-institutional practices that shape perceptions of the state. The paper analyses how these forms of activism evolved over a span of two decades, how they interacted with each other, and what their outcomes were. In this specific case, the contestation over protection responsibilities resulted in a court ruling that question the sovereign status of the British bases in Cyprus. Taking this as an instantiation of the risks that skirting responsibilities poses for states, the paper advances the claim that refugees can in fact define states as much as states define refugees. In a broader perspective, refugee protection is a measure of the extent to which states are democratic, just, or otherwise, actors in the international system.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: Hellenic Observatory
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2024 14:48
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:32

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