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Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System
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Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  139 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews

'Betts and Collier offer innovative insights into how to more effectively meet this challenge, with an important new focus on international solidarity and refugee empowerment' Kofi Annan

'Refugees and policy makers need practical answers to what is now a global crisis. This valuable book represents the kind of can-do thinking that we need to see' David Miliband

An eye-o

Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published March 30th 2017 by Allen Lane
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Eva Dillner
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book does the job our politicians should have asked for: a thorough analysis of the refugee situation with potential alternatives for solutions along with an in depth evaluation of those alternatives, using both head and heart. A recurring theme in the book are decisions made using either the headless heart or the heartless head. The authors dig in with history, background, discuss various arguments on free versus restricted migration, what obligations we have to our fellow humans and how c ...more
Martin Dubeci
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Batts a Collier, dvaja celebritní vedci z Oxfordu, spísali knihu o tom, ako vyriešiť nefungujúci systém pomoci utečencom. Tldr/v skratke: Namiesto vylučovania na okraj spoločnosti integrovať cez ekonomickú aktivitu. V ekonomických zónach a krajinách, blízko ohnísk konfliktu.
Teraz celý príbeh okolo. Kríza v lete 2015 ukázala slabosť spôsobu, akým riešime utečencov. No riešienie je silné slovo. Bol to chaos. Teraz sa treba poučiť.

Tak ako už asi každý, kto kúsok pričuchol k tomuto problému pripomen
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book, bar none, on this subject. If you are talking to anybody about refugee policy and refuge, and you neither wrote nor read this book , you should read it.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
A sobering, if somewhat dense, account of the refugee crisis and how it came about as a direct consequence of legacy policies, ossified political structures and overused emergency solutions (and, of course, good ol' Eurocentric and US-centric approaches). This, however, is used pragmatically as a way to propose a more modern and appropriate way of handling the refugee crisis globally, in a way that empowers both the host state and the refugees. In short, rather than demonstrating the incompetenc ...more
Michael Griswold
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think there’s much quibble with the basic idea that Paul Collier and Alexander Betts get at in Refuge that the current refugee regime that exists internationally needs to be fixed and needs to be fixed badly (well unless you are in charge of the busted system.) The reason the system is broken is covered in the first chapter or two: It’s a system that was designed for a Cold War mentality of East vs. West persecution that has failed to adapt to the post-Cold War world and the refugee real ...more
Jul 04, 2017 marked it as to-read
After listening to Alexander Betts' and Paul Collier's thought-provoking presentation at LSE (in March 2017) on this book, I am putting it at the top of my to-read list. Here's a link to the LSE page where you can stream or download the pod- or vidcast
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: refugees
"For up to four years, up to 83,000 refugees had sat in enforced idleness."

"Condemning millions of people to wasting their lives, this approach has contrived the rare folly of being both inhumane and expensive."

"Fewer than one in ten of the 4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan receive any material support from the United Nations or its implementing partners."

"Refugees are not allowed to work. They are dependent on a system that fails them."

"It is not just about indefinitely p
Tara Fredenburg
I admire the attempt to both provide several fixes for the current refugee system and also make the book generally readable for those who aren't experts because I was afraid I would have trouble understanding the subject matter. For the most part, I followed, but there were moments in the economics discussion that threw me off.

Betts and Collier do a good job of summarizing how the current system came about and why Europe reacted so poorly to its sudden influx.

The major changes I would have made
Lee Candilin
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
A rather dry read, too academic for the average person. Could have been a little more personal and emotional to instill a sense of empathy in readers. But the points stated are good points and if all leaders read this and come together to do something about the refugee crisis, I guess this book will have attained what it sets out to do. The problem is these days there is too much animosity towards the 'outsiders' and too much of a 'we-first' mentality among the industrialised nations. What is al ...more
Zheluo Cai
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With over 65.6 million people around the world being forcibly displaced, of which 22.5 million are refugees, the highest number in humanity's history, Alexander Betts and Paul Collier's Refuge brings us refreshingly radical ideas to reconfigure the current broken refugee policies and systems we have in place since the Second World War. Their in-depth evaluation draws on their years of experience in the field, and together with their humanitarian insights, they focus their approach by delineating ...more
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, rather dense text, so a bit challenging to wade through. I skimmed over table of contents, read the first few chapters and skimmed through parts of the book. Authors have their philosophy stated, with logical positions and supporting arguments to say we need to be doing things very differently, especially in this age of political instability and physical danger and large migrations out of fighting into neighbouring countries. They have previously written on related topics.

I have done
Migration and in particular refugee policy is a much-discussed if poorly understood flash point of political debate in America and Europe. Two Oxford academics, Alexander Betts and Paul Collier, provide a brisk and incisive account of the postwar refugee regime’s historical origins, pathways, and pathologies in Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World. Their recommendations, grounded in experience in the Middle East, are hard-headed but warm-hearted—and by rights should receive a wi ...more
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The proposed ideas are long overdue, and the authors do a great job of diagnosing the problems within current solutions of refuge. It's an articulate and masterfully well-argued work, but it'd be great if its future updated editions went through some editing: crucial points get lost in a morass of supporting arguments, topical sentences are misplaced, and key points are repeated in a way that doesn't add to clarity. Even with that, we do need to heed the advisory of this book because refugee num ...more
I Read, Therefore I Blog
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this moving, compassionate and intelligent book Alexander Betts and Paul Collier analyse the decisions and structural problems that led to the flood of Syrian and other refugees trying to reach Europe from 2011 and propose and alternative innovative and yet pragmatic approach, putting it through the prism of the original crisis to highlight how things may have been different in a must-read for anyone interested in the subject.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is absolutely excellent, evidence based and sane, our policy as we all know, if we are honest, is not working. We gyrate between the headless heart (rescue refugees by opening all our borders and you don't feel if you dare to question it) and the heartless head (Germany and Hungary's rational reaction in 2018). There is no will to make sensible international agreements and how to handle the crisis let alone action, except in one or two isolated situations.
Jessica Da Silva
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book on important topics that matter today.
Before this reading I was not familiar with different policies and the four permanent solutions. this topic is not black and white and we need to educate ourselves in order to fight for improved solutions. The book provides some good examples of how to handle this migrant policy.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Important (and tested in the field) ideas on what really seems an utterly intractable problem.

The message is presented clearly and without preaching and makes sense - although it probably requires a maturity that our current political systems don't posses.
Katie Parsons
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Particularly appreciate the exploration of the ethics behind refugee policy, followed by well-explained and argued solutions for a new global refugee regime. So often these books are just a description of the problem - it's a rare treat to get ideas, as well. Worth the read.
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Both an excellent appraisal of the current refugee system and some very practical ideas, some with already working examples, of how to fix it. A very good book on one of the big challenges of our time.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
to be reviewed later. Excellent, must read for public, academic libraries, as well as should be distributed to all in government in all countries. Become informed. Well written in clearly understood style.
Hmm. A mixed bag. The book certainly contains a lot of interesting, concise information, but some of the authors' statements are problematic to me. Also, there is a LOT of repetition.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
very good with adequate suggestions.need some update as well on some issues though.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Details the tragic realities of the modern refugee system but presents practical ways of reform. Very well written; definitely worth a read.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Thoughtful overview of the current (and previous) refugee crises which provides practical solutions.
Hans Peter Bech
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I learned a lot from this book which helped me get a grip on the bigger perspectives. It's like playing chess. If you can only see one move ahead you will soon be in trouble.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Migrants are lured by hope; refugees are fleeing fear.”

I've read a lot of books by Paul Collier and I've enjoyed all of them. My views on what should happen in the heaven states was quite similar to what was mentioned in the book. However, there are a few aspects I didn't consider before.

The book makes you think of policies and how politicians are sometimes forced to react due to public opinion. It made me wonder how much expertise the experts have (I would suggest reading Thinking, Fast and S
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World, Alexander Betts and Paul Collier cast a studious and balanced eye over the global system for handling refugees. Their conclusions, unsurprisingly, are highly critical. You don't need to be a genius to figure out that the global refugee system is failing. With 20 million odd refugees in the world (and roughly a further 40 million 'displaced' people), and many spending decades of their lives in refugee camps, it would be exceedingly difficu ...more
Amber Erkan
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book, co-written by an economist and political scientist, raises that question. Published this year, it details the history of the Syrian refugee crisis from 2011-2018 and critically examines the UNHCR’s key strategies. Using examples of how the UNHCR supports and assists refugees, the authors make a case that the UNHCR’s policy, designed to support European refugees post-WWII, is outdated and unsuitable for the 21st century. Based on a humanitarian model centered around providing food and ...more
Nick Bolton
rated it it was ok
Jul 21, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2018
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