Department of Political Science

Refugees and minorities: some conceptual and normative issues

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In many contexts, states have a duty to take special measures to protect minorities. Does this duty include prioritizing minority over majority refugees? To answer this question, we first show that a vulnerability-focused notion of ‘minorities’ is preferable to a numerical one. Given the vulnerability-focused notion, there is a presumption in favour of prioritizing minority over majority refugees. However, this presumption is sometimes defeated. We identify five conditions under which this is the case. In fact, surprisingly, under special circumstances, states should prioritize certain majority over certain minority refugees.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEthics and Global Politics
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Concept of a minority, duty to rescue and refugees, ethics of migration, global justice, minority protection, minority rights, non-ideal theory, principle of irrelevant goods, refugees and justice, vulnerability

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