A Legal History: the Emergence of the African Resettlement Candidate in International Refugee Management

Journal article

Sandvik, Kristin Bergtora (2010) A Legal History: the Emergence of the African Resettlement Candidate in International Refugee Management, *International Journal of Refugee Law * 22 (1): 20–47.

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This article proposes a critical legal history of international resettlement through a discussion of the gradual incorporation of African refugees into such schemes. Today, African refugees are prominent in the resettlement efforts of UNHCR and the major resettlement countries. Yet, until recently, African refugees were excluded from resettlement to the West. This article argues that this radical shift cannot be explained only by pointing to changes in quota allocations or domestic legal systems. It surveys the historical evolution of the African resettlement candidate as a bureaucratic-legal category through three lines of inquiry. Part 3 examines the evolvement of resettlement in international refugee management. Part 4 looks at the configuration of African refugees in UNHCR's interventions. Part 5 suggests that the renewal and reform of resettlement that began in the mid-1990s produced rationales that not only undermined previous exclusion but also facilitated a greater inclusion of African refugees. The conclusion proposes that as well as reflecting a more inclusive humanitarianism, the changing face of resettlement is linked to global migration management.

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