Democratizing Refugee Governance Through Critical Reflexivity
Barry-Murphy, Emily Cheryl
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This dissertation considers how refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are conceived in international relations, and how they are understood in relation to the global refugee regime complex. This research explores how cognitive frames are impeding fair/democratic governance of IDPs/refugees and employs two case studies to investigate how the practice of critical reflexivity can lead to the creation of democratic spaces for refugees/IDPs to enact protection preferences. The first case analysis argues that Sarvodaya Shramadana's Deshodaya initiative in Sri Lanka has enabled IDPs in that nation to embrace critical reflexivity to re-constitute/reimagine themselves as governing agents who can redefine state and international organization-based definitions of their protection. The second case examines asylum adjudications at the Department of Homeland Security and is an exploration of how that agency's responsible officials can employ critical reflexivity to recognize seemingly hidden governance structures that condition their decision-making and limit refugee choices. Finally, this inquiry offers a new, organic model for conceptualizing both refugee/IDP governance and strategies for democratization of refugee/IDP governance institutions and systems.
- Doctoral Dissertations