PODCAST: Michael Marrus (Toronto), Refugees in Europe: Explaining the Forty Years’ Crisis/ Zara Steiner (Murray-Edwards College, Cambridge), The European refugee problem as a ‘forty year crisis’
London 14 September 2010
When the United Nations launched the first ever ‘World Refugee Year’ in June 1959, it came at the end of a tumultuous half century of military and diplomatic conflict and a succession of refugee crises originating in Europe. The publicity and events surrounding World Refugee Year were designed not just to raise funds for the cash-strapped UN High Commissioner for Refugees and heighten awareness of international efforts in the support of refugees, but also to draw a line under the European refugee problem by resettling the remaining core of wartime displaced still languishing in refugee camps.
Fifty years on, the organisers consider it timely to take stock of the ’short’ twentieth century of European refugees and refugee policy which World Refugee Year supposedly brought to a close.
Scholarship on some aspects of European migration and migrants has grown enormously in recent years, particularly on the lives and post-1945 experiences of some groups of Displaced Persons. But in spite of growing academic interest in both world wars and post-war periods there is to date still no consistent historiography that places the many different kinds of refugees, migrants and uprooted people within a common framework, or situates the often conflicting national and international priorities in the management of the refugee threat within their wider historical context.
The two keynote speakers, Prof Michael Marrus and Dr Zara Steiner, have been recorded and can be listend to at the following URL:
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