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Refugee Crises, 1945-2000
Political and Societal Responses in International Comparison


Part of Publications of the German Historical Institute

Jan C. Jansen, Simone Lässig, Pertti Ahonen, Gregor Thum, Ian Talbot, Kelly Luisa Gandolfo, Andrea Smith, Christopher Adam, Quan T. Tran, Patrick Scallen, Barbara Franz, Jill Rosenthal, Leo Lucassen
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  • Date Published: October 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108835138

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About the Authors
  • This timely study examines responses to mass refugee movements by a range of actors, from local communities to supranational organizations. Bringing together ten case studies from around the world, encompassing the global North and South alike, Refugee Crises 1945–2000 explores a broad spectrum of types of migration and of international and domestic contexts. Whilst the driving forces and numbers of people involved, and the backgrounds (national, religious, social) of the migrants, vary considerably, this book highlights a common factor: that each receiving country was confronted with the crucial question of how to deal with the arrival of a large number of people seeking refuge. They could not simply be sent away, but they were also widely seen in the receiving countries as an unpredictable challenge to stability and social cohesion. Taking a long-term perspective, this is an eloquent contribution to the intense public debate about the impact of refugee migration on state stability, societal cohesion and as an impetus for social change.

    • Examines the ways receiving societies have handled the sudden inflow of large numbers of refugees between 1945 and 2000
    • Includes cases studies from Asia, Africa and the Middle East, emphasizing that 'refugee crises' are not confined to affluent Western nations
    • A timely study published during a period of intense public debate surrounding Europe's 'refugee crises' and the challenges posed for EU member states
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Historians agree - today's global refugee crisis is not unprecedented. To those who might respond, 'so what?' this volume offers historical case studies, generating rich insights for policy makers. It identifies refugee-mobilizations, changing terminologies, 'crisis' framing, and state interventions that can either promote integration or stigmatize refugees.' Donna Gabaccia, University of Toronto

    'This timely book will be of great value to students of refugee history. Its great strength is the range of carefully contextualised illustrative examples of responses to episodes of mass population displacement. The nuanced discussion of the category of 'refugee' and the concept of 'crisis' across a range of international case studies make this altogether a rewarding volume.' Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester

    'An excellent contribution to the growing field of refugee history, Refugee Crises, 1945-2000 expands our knowledge especially about lesser known non-European cases and about integration policies and processes in the receiving countries.' Philipp Ther, University of Vienna

    '… the book will be useful to those interested in learning about refugees and how they are treated worldwide.' G. M. Farr, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108835138
    • length: 350 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 160 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    1. Responses to refugee crises in international comparison Jan C. Jansen and Simone Lässig
    Part I. The postwar and decolonization moment:
    2. Expellee integration in post-1945 Europe: west Germany, east Germany, and Finland Pertti Ahonen
    3. Integrating without a host society: the repopulation of Poland's western territories after 1945 Gregor Thum
    4. Pakistan: refugee state Ian Talbot
    5. Transgenerational displacement among palestinians and palestinian refugees from Syria in Jordan Kelly Luisa Gandolfo
    6. A matter of definition: flight from empire and aftermath in Europe Andrea Smith
    Part II. Refugee movements during the cold war and beyond:
    7. The 1956/57 Hungarian refugee crisis and the role of the Canadian press in opening the doors to asylum seekers Christopher Adam
    8. Responding to and resettling the Vietnamese boat people: perspectives from west Germany and the United States Quan T. Tran
    9. State and civil society responses to salvadoran refugees in the United States, 1980–1990 Patrick Scallen
    10. The plight of the first post-cold war refugees: the reception and settlement of bosnians in Austria and the United States Barbara Franz
    11. Rwandan refugees in Tanzania, 1994–1996 Jill Rosenthal
    Part III. Afterword:
    12. Recalibrating refugees: global and historical perspectives Leo Lucassen

  • Editors

    Jan C. Jansen, University of Duisburg-Essen
    Jan C. Jansen is a professor of global history at the University of Duisburg-Essen and principal investigator of the research project 'Atlantic Exiles: Refugees and Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1770s-1820s' funded by the European Research Council. A historian of Europe's entanglements with the world since the late eighteenth century and of decolonization, he is coeditor of Vertriebene and Pieds-Noirs in Postwar Germany and France (2016), a systematic comparison of two of the largest involuntary population movements to post-1945 Europe.

    Simone Lässig, German Historical Institute, Washington DC
    Simone Lässig is Director of the German Historical Institute, Washington and Professor of Modern History at the University of Braunschweig. Her first book, a study of the campaign for electoral reform in Saxony, won the 1996 Horst Springer Prize. In 2004, the German Historical Association awarded her its biennial prize for the best second book (Habilitationsschrift, 2003) for her study of the embourgeoisement of German Jewry. Her research currently focuses on modern Jewish history, the history of knowledge, migration history, and digital history.


    Jan C. Jansen, Simone Lässig, Pertti Ahonen, Gregor Thum, Ian Talbot, Kelly Luisa Gandolfo, Andrea Smith, Christopher Adam, Quan T. Tran, Patrick Scallen, Barbara Franz, Jill Rosenthal, Leo Lucassen

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