British academy

The Refugee Problem and the Problems of Refugees

A conference jointly organised by the British Academy and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and the Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge, and supported by Birkbeck College, London, and the Wiener Library, London

The British Academy, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

22-23 March 2004

Refugees are a growing presence in the contemporary world. The number of refugees has almost tripled over less than two decades, from 8.5 million in 1985 to 21 million in 2000. As well as being an urgent contemporary concern, refugees and the agencies created to assist or control them have histories. In the twentieth century, two world wards and the settlements which followed them have produced large refugee movements. Since 1945 decolonization and nation-building, poverty, war, and environmental crises have produced further massive refugee flows in the third world.

This conference will generate exchange between historical and contemporary perspectives on refugee movements and the institutions which responded to them. It will also bring together historians, social scientists and legal scholars and will encourage discussion across disciplinary boundaries. Speakers will include Aristide Zolberg, B. S. Chimni, Tony Kushner, Joya Chatterji, Liza Schuster, and Gil Loescher.