The Rise and Decline of a Global Security Actor: UNHCR, Refugee Protection and Security

Hardcover | March 20, 2014

byAnne Hammerstad

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The Rise and Decline of a Global Security Actor investigates the rise of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a global security actor. It follows the refugee agency through some of the past two decades' major conflict-induced humanitarian emergencies: in northern Iraq(1991), Bosnia (1991-95), eastern Zaire (1994-96), Kosovo (1998-99), Afghanistan (2001-) and Iraq (2003-). It analyses UNHCR's momentous transformation from a small, timid legal protection agency to the world's foremost humanitarian actor playing a central role in the international response to themany wars of the tumultuous last decade of the 20th century. Then, as the 21st century set in, the agency's political prominence waned. It remains a major humanitarian actor, whose budgets and staffing levels continue to rise. But the polarised post-9/11 period and a worsening protection climate forrefugees and asylum seekers spurred UNHCR to abandon its claim to be a global security actor and return to a more modest, quietly diplomatic role.The rise of UNHCR as a global security actor is placed within the context of the dramatic shift in perceptions of national and international security after the end of the Cold War. The Cold War superpower struggle encouraged a narrow strategic-military understanding of security. In the more fluidand unpredictable post-Cold War environment, a range of new issues were introduced to states' security agendas. Prominent among these were the perceived threats posed by refugees and asylum seekers to international security, state stability, and societal cohesion. This book investigates UNHCR'sresponse to this new international environment; adopting, adapting, and finally abandoning a security discourse on the refugee problem.

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The Rise and Decline of a Global Security Actor investigates the rise of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a global security actor. It follows the refugee agency through some of the past two decades' major conflict-induced humanitarian emergencies: in northern Iraq(1991), Bosnia (1991-95), eastern Zaire (1994...

Dr Anne Hammerstad was an ESRC/RCUK Global Uncertainties Fellow from 2009 to 2012, and has also won grants from the British Academy, Europaeum and the Norwegian Fritt Ord foundation. Her DPhil thesis from Oxford University won the BISA Thesis Prize and Winchester Prize in 2003. She has more than a decade's experience in researching an...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:March 20, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199213089

ISBN - 13:9780199213085

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Rise and Decline of a Global Security ActorPart I: Forced Migration and Security2. From Explaining to Constructing Security3. Victims or Threats: Placing Displacement on Three Security AgendaPart II: An Intellectual History of UNHCR4. Institutional and International Developments5. The 1950s to 1970s: Timidity and Restraint In UNHCR's Discourse6. The 1980s: A Political Turn7. The 1990s: Adopting and Adapting a Security Discourse8. The 2000s and Beyond: Return of a Protection DiscoursePart III: An Actor or Re-Actor in International Refugee Politics?9. UNHCR's Rise as a Global Security Actor: Northern Iraq, 199110. A Humanitarian Star: Lead Agency in Bosnia, 1991-199511. Protection Disaster in Eastern Zaire, 1994-9612. How Success Became Failure: The Kosovo Crisis, 1998-9913. Challenges of Protection After 9/1114. Repatriating Afghan Refugees15. Conclusion: The Ongoing Quest for Power, Independence and Relevance