Sawyer Seminar Lecture: The Global Refugee Crisis: A Philosophical Analysis

Thursday, September 23, 2021 5:00pm

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In this talk, Serena Parekh shows why we must understand that there is not one but two global refugee crises. The first is the more well-known crisis faced by Western states who are asked to take in refugees and asylum seekers; they must balance their commitments to human rights with what they see as a need to protect their borders and sovereign right to decide who enters. The second crisis is the crisis faced by refugees themselves who are unable to find refuge anywhere in the world, that is, they are unable to access the minimum conditions of human dignity. Formulating a morally adequate refugee policy will require understanding both crises, especially the second, lesser-known crisis.

Serena Parekh is a Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University in Boston, where she is the director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program and co-editor of the journal, Feminist Philosophy Quarterly. She is the author of three books, including her most recent book, No Refuge: Ethics and the Global Refugee Crisis (Oxford 2020), which one the North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award. Other books include, Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement (Routledge in 2017) and Hannah Arendt and the Challenge of Modernity: A Phenomenology of Human Rights (Routledge 2008), which was translated into Chinese. Her primary philosophical interests are in social and political philosophy, feminist theory, and continental philosophy. She has also published numerous articles on social and political philosophy in Hypatia, Philosophy and Social Criticism, and Human Rights Quarterly.

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