Interrogating "refugeeness" : the imperial legacies in U.S. asylum policy and international humanitarian frameworks
Julia Florence Stone
May 14, 2014
Department or Program
This thesis intervenes in the current discussions of how to think about and deal with refugees and migrants both on an international humanitarian scale and within US domestic policy. I argue that both frameworks do not actually address the complexities of the root causes of migration, and that the factors that designate refugees from migrants are deeply geopolitical and biopolitical. Ultimately, what is missing from these normative frameworks is the account of state responsibility for the legacies of colonial violence and imperial relationships in which liberal empires, like the US, have and continue to exploit states throughout the "global South" for resources and political influence. As seen throughout US history, the US has manipulated its definitions and policies to not only perpetuate its imperial legacy abroad, but to police the social and racial make up of the national body as well.