Rupert Edis

Flight Paths

Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System

By

Allen Lane 267pp £20 order from our bookshop

The world is facing its greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War, with sixty-five million people displaced worldwide by violence, of whom eleven million are from the cauldron of the Syrian civil war. Meanwhile the international system for dealing with refugees is broken, and the shock waves of the crisis have created deep fissures in Europe and the USA.

The causes are complex, but Alexander Betts and Paul Collier highlight three in particular: the end of the Cold War, which weakened many smaller states that had depended on aid from the two superpowers; the spreading of Wahhabi ideology internationally by Saudi Arabia; and the long-term crises affecting around fifty fragile states such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. Large numbers of migrants are fleeing poverty, not violence – a million Africans, mainly economic migrants, are at this moment estimated to be waiting in Libya in the hope of crossing to Europe once calmer sailing weather returns to the Mediterranean.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,