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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54037
Doc. No:TL23991
Call number:‭3288524‬
Main Entry:Indira Priyadarshini Ravindran
Title & Author:Narrative silences, institutional ambiguities and the historiography of International Refugee LawIndira Priyadarshini Ravindran
College:The Johns Hopkins University
Date:2008
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2008
Page No:266
Abstract:This study examines the historiography of International Refugee Law; specifically, the defining moment, 1951, when the Refugee Convention was drafted. The field of Refugee Studies, much like International Relations and International Law has been dominated by the 'classic' Westphalian paradigm of the European nation-state, and by the politics of the two World Wars, and the long Cold War. How the Third World is represented within the refugee narrative has never been the subject of a systematic full-length study. A basic analytical premise of this dissertation is that the Third World enters the refugee narratives only when the United Nations refugee agency enters the Third World; conversely, the institutional history of this agency has come to be conflated with the trajectory of European political history. It is argued that standard historical accounts do not portray events in Europe's metaphorical 'margins' as politically significant, or political at all. To understand the ambiguities surrounding the status of refugees in international law and politics, it is necessary to recover and engage with these missing histories. This study engages with three such cataclysmic events that occurred during the time period 1945-1951: the Partition of British India that generated 14 million refugees; the Partition of Mandate Palestine with 800,000 refugees, and the Korean War with 5 million refugees. It is argued that the failure to take note of the specificity of the world emerging from decolonization has serious implications for law, politics and theory. In the absence of rigorous analysis, we find the unfortunate recycling of colonial-era commonplaces and pathologies relating to the Third World. The privileging of 'official' Western narrative trajectories over the 'memories' of marginalized state and non-state entities 'elsewhere' is examined through these case studies. The dissertation makes a substantive and methodological contribution to the literature on refugees by introducing the work of postcolonial theorists such as Michel-Rolph Trouillot, Siba N. Grovogui, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Gyanendra Pandey and others. Additionally, it invokes the notion that legal norms cannot be separated from praxis, as argued by Grovogui, Anthony Anghie and B.S. Chimni whose works represent what is known as Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL).
Subject:Social sciences; Historiography; Institutional ambiguities; International Refugee Law; Memory; Narrative; Palestinian refugees; Postcolonial; Postcoloniality; International law; International relations; 0616:International relations; 0616:International law
Added Entry:S. N. Grovogui
Added Entry:The Johns Hopkins University