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Title: Asylum at an impasse : refugee protest and the politics of asylum governance in Cairo
Author: Lanier, Eleanor (Nora) Danielson
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 0234
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis explores the relationship between refugee protest and the politics of asylum governance through the case of a 2005 protest in Egypt. It challenges prevalent views of refugees as victims, of the bodies that host and assist as benevolent, and of the relationships between them as apolitical. In a 2005 sit-in in Cairo, Sudanese demonstrators took collective political action as refugees – but found their action countered and undone by host states and humanitarian institutions. Drawing from this case, the thesis develops existing understandings of the politics of asylum governance, and political activism concerned with it, along three lines. First, it takes an inductive approach to understanding the politics at play, developing concepts that allow for comparison across contexts. Second, it integrates analysis of both protester and institutional accounts of a refugee protest. Third, it explores three hitherto understudied aspects of the politics of asylum governance: the political activity of asylees regarding the rules of asylum within host countries; the effects of political struggles within asylum governance on refugee political participation; and the interactions between refugees and asylum governance in an urban, southern context. This thesis argues that refugee protest and the politics of asylum governance are related in causal, discursive, and epistemological ways: that the politics of asylum governance play a causal role in refugee protest; that protest and governance concerned with asylum share a discursive repertoire, which may be mobilised agonistically; and that the study of refugee protest is a compelling approach through which to gain insight into the politics of asylum governance. Through this study, the thesis opens new dimensions within existing scholarship on the depoliticisation of refugees, and of humanitarianism as a dominating force.
Supervisor: Van Hear, Nicholas J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology ; Refugee studies ; Humanitarianism