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Title: Asylum as reparation
Author: Souter, James
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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In this thesis, I examine the theoretical and practical implications of understanding asylum as a form of reparation. My basic contention is that offers of asylum potentially constitute a means through which states can discharge their special obligations towards refugees for whose flight they are responsible. Asylum, on my account, is an institution that can contribute to the rectification of the unjustified harms that states may have caused refugees by forcing them to flee. The thesis is divided into three main parts. In Part I, I lay out a basic theory of asylum as reparation, explaining my conception of asylum and its potential moral functions in Chapter 1, and demonstrating the ways in which asylum may act reparatively in Chapter 2. In Part II, I seek to identify the conditions under which states owe asylum as reparation to refugees. Over the following three chapters, I argue that states have such an obligation when they bear outcome responsibility for unjustified harms experienced by refugees as a result of their flight, and when asylum is the most fitting form of reparation for those harms that is available. In Part III, I apply my theory to the case of Iraqi refugees generated since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and explore some of the practical implications of my approach. In Chapter 6, I argue that the US and UK owe asylum as reparation to large numbers of Iraqi refugees. In Chapter 7, I examine the implications of my approach for domestic asylum politics, questioning how states should prioritise refugees to whom they owe reparation vis-à-vis other refugees, and exploring its potential impact on debates over asylum. In Chapter 8, I identify its implications for the international politics of refugee protection, anticipating some of the incentives that it might create for states.
Supervisor: Gibney, Matthew J. Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Governance and ethics ; Asylum ; refugees ; displacement ; reparation ; injustice