Refugia: solving the problem of mass displacement [Audio]

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Speaker(s): Professor Robin Cohen | Using fresh interpretations of utopian and archipelagic thinking, Robin Cohen will examine the limits and possibilities of creating an imaginative answer to mass displacement. The mass displacement of people through war, ethnic conflict, climate change and lack of opportunity is one of the pressing global issues of our time. The three traditional responses to this issue – local integration, resettlement and return – have proved to be inadequate, while politicians find it difficult to confront xenophobic and nationalist reactions to large-scale and culturally-diverse migration. Radical proposals to address the problem of mass displacement are now being given serious attention by academics and policy-makers alike. Drawing on joint work with Nicholas Van Hear, in this lecture Robin Cohen will subject these proposals to brief scrutiny, but also offer a major alternative vision, a new kind of transnational polity they have called ‘Refugia’. Robin Cohen is Professor Emeritus of Development Studies and Senior Research Fellow at Kellogg College, University of Oxford. Isabel Shutes is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Policy, LSE. The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) at LSE brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead critical and cutting edge research to understand why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

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