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The Making of the Modern Refugee$
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Peter Gatrell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199674169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199674169.001.0001

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Conclusion: Refugees and their History

Conclusion: Refugees and their History

(p.283) Conclusion: Refugees and their History
The Making of the Modern Refugee

Peter Gatrell

Oxford University Press

The conclusion argues that refugees belong to the mainstream of history rather than the margins. Wars, revolutions and state-building take on fresh meaning when examined through the prism of population displacement. Refugees might flee in order to save their skin but others were deliberately targeted, expelled or ‘transferred’ by the state. Humanitarian assistance is also part of this story, but it was often accompanied by misguided assumptions about refugees’ incapacity. Refugees did not hesitate to assert claims to recognition and to participate in fashioning explanations for their displacement. History directs our attention to the way in which refugees have been represented by others and how they valorized themselves in order to negotiate their predicament.

Keywords:   refugees and war, refugees and humanitarianism, cultural representations of refugees

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