SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Campbell, John (2015) 'Asylum vs sovereignty in the 21st century: How nation-state's breach international law to block access to asylum.' International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 2 (1). pp. 24-39.

Text - Draft Version
Download (414kB) | Preview


Asylum was created by the international community in the 20th century to provide legal protection to individuals fleeing persecution by nation states; but the ability to secure asylum has been fundamentally reshaped by sovereign national interests in the 21st century. This paper has two objectives. First it explores the various ways in which nation-states have adopted policies and pursued agendas which prevent asylum seekers from gaining access to countries of asylum, which criminalize many who enter a country of asylum and which frustrate their ability to obtain asylum. When state signatories breach their legal obligations to the Refugee Convention, the UNHCR has the authority to exercise its ‘supervisory role’ to bring states’ back into compliance. I examine two UNHCR interventions in the United Kingdom which have failed. The paper concludes by discussing how and why it is necessary to radically rethink national asylum and migration policies.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of Anthropology and Sociology
ISSN: 17552427
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2015 16:19

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item