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7.6: Resources and References

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    Key Points

    • Statelessness refers to an individual or group of individuals lacking official recognition as a national (or a citizen) of any state in the world.
    • Stateless individuals experience heightened human insecurity.
    • Refugees and asylum seekers are stateless peoples, often having fled persecution in their former homelands. However, their statelessness does not abolish their human rights and states must uphold those rights and protect refugees, regardless of their statelessness.
    • The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967) are important as they identified that foreign nationals seeking asylum must be granted the same types of human rights as those normally experienced by citizens of a state.
    • By ratifying the Convention and/or Protocol, signatory governments have indicated their willingness to provide sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and disaster to honour and uphold their human rights.
    • It is predicted that climate change could cause increasingly large numbers of environmental refugees to flee their homes.
    • The UNHCR does not currently include environmental refugees into its mandate or definition of refugees.
    • It is logical that environmental refugees should be included in the UNHCR mandate and a protocol should be passed to secure such an outcome.
    • If their former homeland has transitioned to peace and security, refugees should be offered the option of voluntary repatriation and resettlement. In areas where this cannot be achieved, resettlement in a new state should be pursued.
    • Alienated citizens can also occupy a position of statelessness, although this is usually a self-imposed statelessness. Some alienated citizens turn to sub-state terrorism to draw attention to their ‘cause’ or to force changes in governance and social policy.
    • While terrorism has become a serious threat to human and state security in the 21st century, many countries have adopted counter terrorism policies that negatively impact on human rights and human security, in the interests of state security and the so-called ‘war on terror.’
    • Perceived violations of political, civil, security, and subsistence rights, as well as international factors such as past experiences of colonisation and imperialism, and the undesirable outcomes of present day political and economic development, have all been identified as fundamental elements that contribute to displacement and can foster terrorism.
    • In order to successfully counter terrorism, there needs to be a stronger state commitment to promote and uphold human rights and human security worldwide, not just in pockets that hold specific national interest to selected states.
    • The key to effective and long-term counter terrorism is to strike at the core of the issues and human insecurities that lead people to commit acts of terror in the first instance.

    .Extension Activities & Further Research

    1. Explore the immigration statistics for your own country. How many refugees does your country accept? Compare your country’s statistics to a country you believe is comparable to your own. Do you think the figures reflect a reasonable intake of refugees? Why or why not?
    2. What is meant by the term ‘war on terror’? How does this conflict differ from previous wars or conflicts? Has the war increased or decreased the threats posed by global terror networks?
    3. Do a search for newspaper articles on the suicide attacks by Wafa Idris or another female suicide terrorist. Analyse the content of the news articles. Was the article focused on death toll, or did it focus on the reasons behind the attacks and the human condition of Palestinians? What do you conclude about the attack by Wafa Idris, or others, and how it was reported?
    4. Examine Case Study 7.1. What factors contributed to the statelessness of the Rohingya people? How significant might the link between the 1982 Burma Citizenship Law and the leader at the time being a military dictator who came to power through a coup d’état? How have these changes heightened the human insecurity of the Rohingya people? What could the international community have done to prevent the ongoing abuse of the Rohingyas and the 2017 ethnic cleansing?
    5. What have been the key areas of progress in addressing the needs of individuals and groups outside of the state system over the past decade? What areas can you identify that need further improvement?
    6. Examine Case Study 7.2. What motivations might have contributed to the Australian government’s actions? How might those actions have been different had the refugee hailed from drought and famine-stricken Somalia? Are you in favour of the non-refoulement policy being expanded to include environmental refugees? Explain.
    7. Consider additional areas in the world where environmental change may cause displacement and forced migration. How does planned migration mitigate some of the risks of unplanned statelessness due to environmental change? What risks still exist even when the migration is planned?

    List of Terms

    See Glossary for full list of terms and definitions.

    • asylum seeker
    • environmental refugee
    • internally displaced person (IDP)
    • realism
    • refugee
    • stateless

    Suggested Reading

    Ganor, B. (2015). Global alert: The rationality of modern Islamist terrorism and the challenge to the liberal democratic world. Columbia University Press.

    Haddad, E. (2008). The refugee in international society: Between sovereigns. Cambridge University Press.

    Hayes, A., & Mason, R. (Eds.). (2012). Cultures in refuge: Seeking sanctuary in modern Australia. Ashgate Publishing.

    Ibrahim, A. (2016). The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s hidden genocide. Hurst Publishers.

    Kanapathipillai, V. (2009). Citizenship and statelessness in Sri Lanka: The case of the Tamil estate workers. Anthem Press.

    Reveron, D. S., & Mahoney-Norris, K. A. (2018). Human and national security: Understanding transnational challenges (2nd ed.). Routledge.

    Steiner, N. (2009). International migration and citizenship today. Routledge.

    Steiner, N., Mason, R., & Hayes, A. (Eds.). (2015). Migration and insecurity: Citizenship and social inclusion in a transnational era. Routledge.


    Ahsan Ullah, A. K. M. (2016). Rohingya crisis in Myanmar: Seeking justice for the “stateless”. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 32(3), 285–301.

    Allen, P. (2011, July 24). Norway killer: Father horrified by Anders Behring Breivik killing spree. The Telegraph.

    Archbold, L. J. (2015). Offshore processing of asylum seekers: Is Australia complying with its international legal obligations? QUT Law Review, 15(1), 137–158.

    BBC News. (2012, April 12). Profile: Anders Behring Breivik.

    Bellamy, A. J. (2006). No pain, no gain? Torture and ethics in the war on terror. International Affairs, 82(1), 121–148.

    Berwick, A. (2011). 2083: A European declaration of independence [Manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik].

    Beyrer, C., & Kamarulzaman, A. (2017). Ethnic cleansing in Myanmar: The Rohingya crisis and human rights. The Lancet, 390(10102), 1570–1573.

    Bokhari, L. (2007). Jihad in a globalized world, local arenas for global violent extremism; Local and global contexts, causes and motivations. In Centre of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism (Ed.), Suicide as a weapon (pp. 22–27). IOS Press.

    British Refugee Council. (2019). Asylum seekers in Europe – May 2019.

    Bueno de Mesquita, B. (2000). Principles of international politics: People’s power, preferences, and perceptions. CQ Press.

    Callaway, R., & Harrelson-Stephens, J. (2006). Toward a theory of terrorism: Human security as a determinant of terrorism. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 29(8), 773–796.

    Caramel, L. (2014, July 1). Besieged by the rising tides of climate change, Kiribati buys land in Fiji. The Guardian.

    Centre for Immigration Studies. (2018, June 19). Analysis of Paul Ryan’s Amnesty Bill.

    Commission on Human Security. (2003). Human security now.

    Commonwealth of Australia. (2012). Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Immigration Detention Network: Final report.

    Commonwealth of Australia. (2018). Fact sheet: Australia’s refugee and humanitarian programme. Australian Government – Department of Home Affairs.

    Connell, J., & Lutkehaus, N. (2017). Environmental refugees? A tale of two resettlement projects in coastal Papua New Guinea. Australian Geographer, 48(1), 79–95.

    Crenshaw, M., & Cusimano Love, M. (2011). Networked terror. In M. Cusimano Love (Ed.), Beyond sovereignty: Issues for a global agenda (4th ed., pp. 120–140). Wadsworth Publishing.

    Crothers, L. (2002). The cultural foundations of the modern militia movement. New Political Science, 24(2), 221–234.

    D’Anieri, P. (2011). International politics: Power and purpose in global affairs (2nd ed.). Wadsworth Publishing.

    Dunn, S. (2010). The female martyr and the politics of death: An examination of the martyr discourses of Vibia Perpetua and Wafa Idris. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 78(1), 202–225.

    Gearty, C. (2005). 11 September 2001, counter-terrorism, and the Human Rights Act. Journal of Law and Society, 32(1), 18–33.

    Gilmore, J. (2011). A kinder, gentler counter-terrorism: Counterinsurgency, human security and the War on Terror. Security Dialogue, 42(1), 21–37.

    Glendenning, P., Leavey, C., Hetherton, M., Britt, M., & Morris, T. (2004). Deported to danger: A study of Australia’s treatment of 40 rejected asylum seekers. Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education; Australian Catholic University.

    Goodman, B. (Director). (2017). Oklahoma City [Film]. Public Broadcasting Service.

    Hasso, F. (2005). Discursive and political deployments by/of the 2002 Palestinian women suicide bombers/martyrs. Feminist Review, 81(1), 23–51.

    Haynes, J., Hough, P., Malik, S., & Pettiford, L. (2010). World politics: International relations and globalization in the 21st century. Routledge.

    Hewitt, G. (2011, July 25). Norway and the politics of hate. BBC News.

    Hollup, O. (1992). Ethnic identity, violence and the estate Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. Round Table, 81(323), 315–338.

    Human Security Centre. (2006). Human security report 2005: War and peace in the 21st century. Oxford University Press.

    Manly, M., & Persaud, S. (2009). UNHCR and responses to statelessness. Forced Migration Review, 32, 7–10.

    Montreux, C., & Barnett, J. (2009). Climate change, migration and adaptation in Funafuti, Tuvalu. Global Environmental Change, 19(1), 105–112.

    Myers, N. (with Kent, J.). (1995). Environmental exodus: An emergent crisis in the global arena. Climate Institute.

    Nobel Foundation. (n.d.). The Nobel Peace Prize 1991.

    Refugee Processing Centre. (2020). Historical arrivals broken down by region (1975 – present) [Graphs].

    Reuters. (2018, August 30). Aung San Suu Kyi won’t be stripped of Nobel peace prize despite Rohingya crisis. The Guardian.

    Reveron, D. S., & Mahoney-Norris, K. A. (2018). Human and national security: Understanding transnational challenges (2nd ed.). Routledge.

    Shastri, A. (1999). Estate Tamils, the Ceylon citizenship act of 1948 and Sri Lankan politics. Contemporary South Asia, 8(1), 65–86.

    Stark, T. (Director), & Pilger, J. (Reporter). (2002). Palestine is STILL the issue: A special report by John Pilger [Film]. Carlton Television.

    Steiner, N. (2009). International migration and citizenship today. Routledge.

    Tazreiter, C. (2017). The unlucky in the ‘lucky country’: Asylum seekers, irregular migrants and refugees and Australia’s politics of disappearance. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 23(2), 242–260.

    Thomas, J. L. (2018). Women’s participation in political violence. In D. S. Reveron, N. K. Gvosdev, & J. A. Cloud (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of U.S. national security (pp. 505–522). Oxford University Press.

    Tsoukala, A. (2006). Democracy in the light of security: British and French political discourses on domestic counter-terrorism policies. Political Studies, 54(3), 607–627.

    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (2011). Convention and protocol related to the status of refugees.

    UNHCR. (2011). UNHCR global trends 2010.

    UNHCR. (2015). UNHCR, the environment & climate change.

    UNHCR. (2018a). UNHCR global trends: Forced displacement in 2017.

    UNHCR. 2018b. Statistics: The World in Numbers. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (Accessed 24 June 2019)

    Urosevic, N. (2009). Environmental ‘refugees’: should the UNHCR enlarge its mandate to include environmental migrants? Undercurrent, 6(3), 27–34.

    van Waas, L. (2009). Statelessness: A 21st century challenge for Europe. Security and Human Rights, 20(2), 133–146.

    Whittaker, D. J. (2004). Terrorists and terrorism in the contemporary world. Routledge.


    1. Data sources: UNHCR, 2018a; UNHCR, 2018b 
    2. In June 2018 Paul Ryan introduced a bill to US Congress seeking an amnesty for an estimated 2.2 million people, the largest amnesty in the US for over three decades. However, the bill also contained problematic border security provisions, which made it unpopular to many Democrats and it was defeated by a 193 to 231 vote in the House (Centre for Immigration Studies, 2018).
    3. Data source: UNHCR, 2018a
    4. Data source: UNHCR, 2018a
    5. Data sources: UNHCR, 2018a; UNHCR, 2018b. Number of refugees in this table include Palestinian refugees who are cared for by United Nations Refugee and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East.
    6. In 2016, the US accepted 84,994 refugees, in 2017 the number of refugee admissions dropped to 53,716, and by 2018, it had dropped even further to 22,491. In 2018, the region most represented among admissions was Africa whereas in 2016 and 2017, the ‘Near East and South Asia’ region was the largest region for admissions (Refugee Processing Centre, 2019).
    7. In 2017, the United Kingdom accepted 34,435 refugees. In 2018, the number of refugees accepted was 37,453. Iran was the largest country of origin for asylum seeker applications in 2018 (Refugee Council, 2019).
    8. Australia granted 17,555 visas under the Humanitarian Programme in 2015-2016. This figure includes 8,284 visas granted to refugees, 7,268 offshore Special Humanitarian visas and 2,003 onshore visas (Commonwealth of Australia, 2018).
    9. In 1992, Randy Weaver and his family were involved in a standoff with FBI agents and US marshals on their property at Ruby Ridge, Idaho. A gun battle ensued and Weaver’s wife, son and a Marshal were killed. Weaver later surrendered to authorities. He went to trial for weapons charges but was acquitted by a jury (Crothers, 2002).
    10. The Waco incident occurred just six months after the Ruby Ridge incident in 1993. Federal agents amassed at the Branch Davidian compound to serve a warrant on the cult’s leader, David Koresh. The agents were fired upon, a gun battle broke out, and several agents and members of the Branch Davidians were killed. Fifty-one days later, agents stormed the compound using tear gas and tanks. The compound caught on fire, and almost all of the remaining members of the group were killed in the blaze. Questions have remained as to how the fire started and the government’s role in the incident (Crothers, 2002). Timothy McVeigh was a frequent observer of the standoff at Waco, even selling anti-government and pro-gun bumper stickers to those who joined the throng of observers at a hill, three miles away from the Mount Carmel compound, which allowed visualisation of the standoff as it unfolded (Goodman, 2017).
    11. Again, it is noted by the author that bystanders and other civilians, including children, were also killed in both attacks.
    12. For example see: (“Suicide girl shot 3 times,” 2002, January 31). The Sun. p. 2; Bennett, J. (2002, January 31). Arab Woman’s Path to Unlikely ‘Martyrdom’. The New York Times. p. 1; and Walker, C. (2002, February 1). Sight of her people’s blood fired bomber – War on Terror. The Australian. p. 7. 
    13. This effect was actually an express goal of the terrorist organisations that operated in Europe during the 1970s, such as the Baader-Meinhof group in Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy. 

    7.6: Resources and References is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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