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Chapter 8

POLA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Benny Morris, Ashgate Publishing, Pakistan Zindabad


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLA01H3
Professor
Phil Triadafilopoulos
Chapter
8

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PrintPublicationDate: Jun2014 Subject: PoliticalScience,InternationalRelations,Comparative
Politics
OnlinePublicationDate: Aug
2014
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199652433.013.0032
StateControls:Borders,Refugees,andCitizenship
RandallHansen
TheOxfordHandbookofRefugeeandForcedMigrationStudies
EditedbyElenaFiddian-Qasmiyeh,GilLoescher,KatyLong,andNandoSigona
OxfordHandbooksOnline
AbstractandKeywords
Forcedmigrationandrefugeesareintertwinedwiththenationstateanditsborders.Thischapterexaminesthe
relationshipbetweenthenationstate,borders,refugees,andcitizenship.Itlooksatasylumchallengestothe
nationstateandconsidersbordersandrefugeesinhistoricalcontext.Inaddition,thischapterexaminesthelink
betweenthecreationandmaintenanceofbordersandtheproductionofrefugeemovements.Italsodiscusseshow
theasylumdeterminationsystemthreatensborders,thestate,andtheinternationalrefugeesystem.
Keywords:nationstate,borders,refugees,citizenship,asylum,forcedmigration,refugeemovements
Introduction
Thestudyofforcedmigrationandrefugees,whetherinacontemporaryorhistoricalcontext,cannotbe
understoodwithoutreferencetothenationstateanditsborders.Historically,thereisastrongcontingent
relationshipbetweentheemergenceofthenationstateandthe(oftenviolent)generationoflarge-scalerefugee
movements.Today,refugeesarecreatedthrough,andindeedareincomprehensiblewithout,theinteractionof
migrantsandborders.
Thenationis,followingBenedictAnderson,theimaginedcommunityofindividualswhosharesomecommonsense
ofidentityandwhoplacetheirloyaltytoeachotherabovetheirloyaltytostrangers(Anderson2006).Thestate,
madeupofthelegislature,executive,bureaucracy,courts,andarmy,isthefinalarbiterofdisputes,holdsa
monopolyoverviolence,andisresponsibleforprotecting,regulating,andredistributingproperty.Nationsare
roughlycongruentwithstates,althoughtherearemanyhistoricalandcontemporaryexceptions:Germanyinthe
interwarperiod(whenalargeGermanpopulationlivedinPoland),Hungary,Russia,andQuébectoday.Thenation
stateisdefinedbyitsborders:externally,theyconstitutethelimitsofsovereignty;internally,residenceandeven
merepresencewithinbordersallowindividualstoclaimtheprotectionofthenationstate.
Despitetirelessandsomewhattiresomeeffortstofindanalternatebasisforcitizenship,thestatushasnologic,
power,ormoralforceoutsideanationstate(Hansen2009).Acitizenisonewhoenjoysthefullpanoplyofrights—
civil,social,economic,andpolitical—accordedbyanationstate;acitizencancallonhisorhernationstate,and
onlythatnationstate,toclaimdiplomaticprotection;andthenationstatecaninturndemandtheultimateloyaltyof
itscitizens,includingtheobligationtofightanddie.
Theinternationalrefugeesystem,asithasdevelopedsincetheSecondWorldWar,hasinteractedwiththestate
systemincomplexways.Ontheonehand,thenon-refoulementdutyimposedbythe1951UNConventionrelating
tothestatusofrefugeesandtheConvention’s1967Protocolisoneofthefewlegallimitationsonstatesovereignty.
States,intheory,cannotreturnortransferrefugeestocountrieswheretheyfacea‘well-foundedfearofbeing

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persecutedforreasonsofrace,religion,nationality,membershipofaparticularsocialgroup,orpoliticalopinion’.
Ontheotherhand,theideaofrefugees,inthesenseunderstoodbythe1951Convention,isintheoryandin
practiceincomprehensiblewithouttheinternationalstatesystem.
Thischapterwilloutlinetherelationshipbetweenthenationstate,borders,andrefugees.Thenationstatehasboth
theWeberianmonopolyonviolenceandthesolecapacitytoprotecthumanrights.Borders,inturn,definethe
limits,withafewexceptions,ofnation-statesovereignty:theycanfullyprotectonlythosewithintheirborders.To
besure,citizenshipdoesallowthestatetoextenditssovereigntytoadegree:itisresponsibleforitscitizens
abroad.Butoutsideitsownborders,thestate’scapacitytoprotectthosecitizensisseverelyconstrained,as
imprisoneddrugdealersaroundtheworldcanattest.Asylumseekersbecomerefugeesbybeingrecognizedas
suchbythestate.Thestate’sobligationstoasylumseekers—non-refoulementandtheprocessingoftheasylum
claimaretriggeredwhentheasylumseekerreachesthebordersofthatstateandclaimsasylum(Loescherand
Milner2011:194).Andtheendpointinasuccessfulasylumapplicationispermanentresidenceandcitizenship
rightsinthenewstate,ideallyaliberaldemocraticone.
Forthepurposesofthischapter,‘refugees’areunderstoodinboththepopularandthelegalsense.Intheformer,
refugeesareforcedmigrants;inthelatter,followingthe1951UNrefugeeConvention,theyarepeoplewitha‘well-
foundedfearofpersecution’grantedrefugeestatusbyasignatorystatetothe1951Convention.Anasylum
seeker,whethertravellingaloneoraspartofamassinflux,isapersonseekingthatstatus.
AsylumChallengestotheNationState
Thecontemporaryasylumsystemchallengestheverystatesystemonwhichitdepends.Itdoessoforthree
reasons:first,becauseitisoneofthefewareasinwhichsovereigntyismeaningfullyrestricted;second,because
mostConventionsignatorystatesortheircourtshavearticulatedcomplexandlengthylegalproceduresthatmake
fullasylumprocessingandsubsequentappealstimeconsumingandexpensive;andthird,becausedeportationis
extremelydifficult.Inthelast,legal,moral,andfinanciallimitsmeanthattraditionallyonlyaminorityofthosewhose
asylumcaseswererejectedwereinfactdeported.Thisfactlednationstatestoerectawidevarietyofinstitutional
andlegalbarriersdesignedtokeepasylumseekersawayfromtheirborders:visarequirements,safecountryof
originandsafethirdcountryrules,carriersanctions,interdictionatsea,andthedeclarationofairports
internationalzones(moreonthesebelow).Theseactions,inturn,threatentheinstitutionofasylumitself.States
andbordersbothsustainandunderminetheasylumsystem.
BordersandCitizenship
Asahorizontalstatus,citizenshiprequireslimits.Itis,asRogersBrubakerfamouslynoted,‘internallyinclusive’and
‘externallyexclusive’(Brubaker1992:21).Formostpeopleandinmostcases,thelimitsofthebordersarethe
limitsofcitizenship.Putanotherway,onecanonlybefullyacitizenwhenresidentinthestateofone’scitizenship.
Evendualcitizens,anaturallyprivilegedcategory,enjoynodiplomaticprotectionwheninthestateoftheirother
citizenship(s)andoftenfindtheyhavefewersocialandpoliticalrights(tohealthcare,tolowerpostsecondary
educationfees,oreventovote)whentheydonotresideinthestategrantingtheircitizenship.
BordersandRefugeesinHistoricalContext
Bordersarebasictotheconstructionandcreationofrefugeemovementsinbothhistoricalandcontemporary
contexts.Intheformer,nationstateshavebeenbuiltthroughmassflightandmassexpulsions.Inthissense,
Europe’sinterwarperiod,inwhichtherewasavaliantandfailedefforttomatchborderstopeople,wasthe
exception.Bothbeforeandafterthe1919–39period,thenormwastomatch,throughexpulsionandmurder,
peopletoborders(Weinberg2005:895).Thoughoftenpresentedasanexceptionalcase,theexpulsionof
approximately750,000PalestinianArabsfromwhatisnowIsraelbetweenNovember1947andSeptember1949
(ChattyandFarah2005;Lentin2005)ispartofabroaderpatternofdisplacementanddispossessionthatunderpins
theconstitutionofnationstates.AsdiscussedinmoredetailinAkram’schapter(thisvolume)ontheestablishment
oftheUnitedNationsReliefandWorksAgencyforPalestinianrefugees,theZionistleadershipfromatleastthe
1890sprivatelyfloatedtheideaoftransferringArabpopulationsoutofPalestine(Morris2004:41–3).Liberalmoral

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qualms,however,constrainedtheproposaluntilthe1930s(Morris2004:43).Fromthen,partlyinreactionto
wavesofArabanti-JewishviolenceinPalestine,thesechecksfellaway(Morris2004:43–4).Fromthe1930s,
onwards,aconsensus,withsomeBritishsupport,emergedinfavouroftransferringArabsfromPalestineinorderto
makeroomforJewsandinordertopreventtheemergenceofafifthcolumnwithintheJewishstate(Morris2004:
4752).WhattheZionistsneededwastheopportunitytoimplementthattransfer;warprovidedit.
RejectingUNGeneralAssemblyResolution181ofNovember1947onthePartitionofPalestine,firstPalestinians
and,fromMay1948,neighbouringArabstatesattackedIsrael,therebyprovidingtheopportunityfortheJewish
leadershiptoexpel400,000ArabsfromthenewJewishstate(Morris2008:chapter3).AsArabattacksonIsraeli
positionsintensifiedandasJewishcasualtiesmounted,attitudeshardened,andon10December1947,Israeli
tacticsswitchedfromoneofattacksrestrictedtomilitarytargets.‘Aggressivedefence’,inwhicheachattackwould
befollowedbyanaggressivecounter-attack,reprisals,andthepermanentseizureofPalestinianpositions,became
officialpolicy(Morris2004:73;ChattyandFarah2005:468).Bytheendofthewar,throughacombinationofflight
andexpulsion—thelatterorganizedspontaneouslybyIsraeliarmyunits—750,000Palestinianshadfledtheir
homes.Althoughtherehadbeennooverallplanandcoordinatedstrategyforexpulsion(hence150,000Arabs
remained),preventingthereturnofthoseArabswhohadleftbecameofficialIsraelipolicy,one‘[g]enerallyapplied
withresolutionand,often,withbrutality’(Morris2004,588–9).
ItisoftensuggestedthatIsraelwasbornwithanoriginalsinthatblights,asoriginalsindoes,allthatIsraelhasdone
since(Pappé1992).Whatislessremarkedonisthatmostmomentsofnationbuildingoccuragainstthe
backgroundofethniccleansing. Afewexamplesillustratethispoint.ThecreationoftheAmericanrepublicledto
thesubsequentmasstransferandmurderoflargenumbersofNativeAmericansaswellastotheflightorexpulsion
ofsome60,000AmericansloyaltoBritain(Jasanoff2012:357).By1850,mostNativeAmericanseastofthe
Mississippihadbeentransferredwestto‘Indianterritory’,andamassacreofCalifornianatives(aboriginals)living
neargoldfieldsoccurredfollowingthe1848discoveryofgoldinthestate(Grinde2001:374).BackinEurope,
Turkey’semergenceaftertheFirstWorldWarfromtheashesoftheOttomanEmpirefollowedtheexpulsionof1.5
millionArmenians,ofwhomsome750,000died(Pattie2005:15).
The194151periodprovidedaparticularlyvividillustrationofthenation-building/refugee-productionnexus.The
creationofIndiaandPakistanledtotheflightorexpulsionof8millionpeople.PolandandCzechoslovakia,among
otherEastEuropeancountries,consolidatedtheirpost-1945nationsthroughtheexpulsionoftheirethnicGerman
populations(acrossEasternEurope,12millionGermanswereexpelled).HugenumbersofPoleshadthemselves
beenexpelledasStalinincorporatedeasternPolandintotheSovietUnion.Morebroadly,evenaftermassreturns
fromwar-tornEurope,therewereafterWorldWarII1.2milliondisplacedpersonsunwillingorunabletoreturnto
theirhomelands,including400,000PolishPOWsandforcedlabourers;150,000200,000Estonian,Lithuanian,and
LatvianWehrmachtandSSsoldiers,slavelabourers,andciviliansfleeingtheSoviets;100,000–150,000ethnic
Ukrainians;and250,000Jewishrefugees,includingasmallgroupwhohadsurvivedthedeathcampsanddeath
marches(Cohen2012:5-6).
Thesenation-buildingexerciseswereaccompanied,andperhapsmadepossible,bymurderspreesofwhichthe
Israeliwasnumericallythesmallest.AttheendoftheSecondWorldWar,some700,000Germanswerekilled
throughstarvation,freezing,accidents,andmurder;therapeandmurderofwomenandthekillingofchildrenwere
common(Naimark2002:111;Snyder2010:332).Flight,expulsion,anddeportationalsoresultedin150,000Polish,
250,000Ukrainian,and300,000Sovietdeathsduringthesameperiod(Snyder2010:332).InIndiaandPakistan,
nationalisthardlinersusedethnicandreligioushatredtopursue,asnationalistsoftendo,thecreationofnewstates
andtheadvancementoftheircareers.ThepartitionofIndiaandPakistanoccurredinandwasmadepossiblebya
climateofintensereligioushatred,bythesystematicmurderofcivilians,bythedecimationofwholevillages,and
bythemassexpulsionandflightofmillionsofHindus,Muslims,andSikhs.Itwascarnageinwhichallreligious
groupswerebothperpetratorsandvictims.AsYasminKhanconcludes,
ViolencemustsitatthecoreofanyhistoryofPartition...Itaffectedwomen,childrenandtheelderlyaswell
aswell-armedyoungmen...Childrenwatchedastheirparentsweredismemberedorburnedalive,women
werebrutallyrapedandhadtheirbreastsandgenitalsmutilated[,]andentirepopulationsofvillageswere
summarilyexecuted...Brokenbodieslayalongroadsidesandontrainplatforms,whilecharredwoodand
rubblewereallthatremainedoflargequartersofAmritsarandLahore....PartitionstoriesofPunjabin1947
aremarkedbyspecificdetailsandarelayeredinuniqueandentirelyindividualfamilymemories.Yetthese
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