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On the patron saint of libraries

Came across this today while reading Paul Lendvai’s The Hungarians (2003) “Three chronicles report different versions, written between 970 and 1075, of an attack on the monistary of St Gallen and its surroundings (today in Switzerland). “The heathen barbarians” advanced like lightening through Bavaria and Swabia along Lake Constance, and inflicted heavy damage on the […]

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On attention and activism

I came across a recent interview of Rachel Maddow over at Lenny and her comment about what makes for successful activism caught my attention — RM: Yes. I did my doctoral dissertation on social movements around prison reform, AIDS, and health reform. One of the things that I wrote about is that there are some political […]

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On past as prologue [5]

Leon Gordenker, Refugees in International Politics (1987) — The misery of refugees thus dulls the glitter of unilateral, short-term campaigning by governments. The homeless, persecuted, hungry, confused people who turn up at border posts and distant airports signify the costs of conflict within and among societies and states. They are living monuments to war, disorder, […]

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On interview techniques

After being found guilty and sentenced to 40 years by the ICTY today, David A. Graham over at The Atlantic’s Notes highlights a 1993 interview conducted with Radovan Karadzic — In January 1993, still relatively early in the Bosnian war, [CBC’s] As It Happens scored an interview with Karadzic. In a retrospective segment years ago, former host Michael Enright […]

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On past as prologue [4]

Jean-Pierre Hocke, “Beyond Humanitarianism: The Need for Political Will to Resolve Today’s Refugee Problem,” p. 40-1, in G. Loescher and L. Monahan (eds.), Refugees in International Relations (1989). I am particularly concerned about the growing negative public opinion in the west vis-a-vis refugees and asylum-seekers from the Third World. Many governments in the West have […]

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On visiting the neighbors

Long time neighbor, first time visitor: I finally got to take a tour of the US Embassy today (..unsurprisingly, zero cameras or phones allowed) just before giving a briefing on refugee issues to D.C. and Oslo staff. The building is shaped like a triangle — stairwells included!

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On past as prologue [3]

From: Gil Loescher, “Refugees as grounds for international action” p. 36-37 in Edward Newman and Joanne van Selm (eds.) Refugees and Forced Displacement: International Security, Human Vulnerability, and the State (2003) — There has been increasing recognition that massive refugee flows do in fact constitute a threat to international peace and security, and that they […]

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On resettlement as investment

In response to the passing of Andrew S. Grove (an Intel founder, chief exec and chairman + resettled to the US from Hungary by way of Austria in 1957), Chris Blattman poses an interesting question — was the greatest contribution to American prosperity the resettling of refugees?

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On past as prologue [2]

Arthur C. Helton, The Price of Indifference: Refugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century (2002), p. 23: The common thread, then, is fear: fear that gives rise to refugee flight, fear that but for good fortune one could be a refugee oneself, and fear that keeps people from offering haven to those in need. […]

Read More On past as prologue [2]

On past as prologue

As I barrel through a ton of older literature, I’ll be posting quotes that read like they were written today — From: Alte Grahl-Madsen, Chapter 21: “Identifying the World’s Refugees” (1983), in Peter Macalister-Smith and Gudmundur Alfredsson (eds.), The Land Beyond: Collected Essays on Refugee Law and Policy by Alte Grahl-Madsen (2001), p. 259. Stemming the […]

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