Cover of The Arc of Protection by T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore
The Arc of Protection
Reforming the International Refugee Regime
T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore


184 pages.

Paperback ISBN: 9781503611412
Ebook ISBN: 9781503611429

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The international refugee regime is fundamentally broken. Designed in the wake of World War II to provide protection and assistance, the system is unable to address the record numbers of persons displaced by conflict and violence today. States have put up fences and adopted policies to deny, deter, and detain asylum seekers. People recognized as refugees are routinely denied rights guaranteed by international law. The results are dismal for the millions of refugees around the world who are left with slender prospects to rebuild their lives or contribute to host communities. T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore lay bare the underlying global crisis of responsibility.

The Arc of Protection adopts a revisionist and critical perspective that examines the original premises of the international refugee regime. Aleinikoff and Zamore identify compromises at the founding of the system that attempted to balance humanitarian ideals and sovereign control of their borders by states. This book offers a way out of the current international morass through refocusing on responsibility-sharing, seeing the humanitarian-development divide in a new light, and putting refugee rights front and center.

About the authors

T. Alexander Aleinikoff is University Professor and Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School.

Leah Zamore directs the Humanitarian Crises program at New York University's Center on International Cooperation.

"In The Arc of Protection, Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore take on the refugee crisis, providing recommendations to improve prevention, protection, and solutions. A must read for anyone who is concerned for the safety and future of the almost 70 million people who are displaced worldwide."

—Susan F. Martin, Georgetown University

"In this highly original book, Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore offer a fundamental rethinking of the grounds and requirements of international protection for the forcibly displaced. Informed by acute analysis of the historical development of, and contemporary challenges to, the refugee regime, they have written a necessary book; one that demonstrates the centrality of rights, agency and mobility for a 21st century regime of protection."

—David Owen, University of Southampton

"In this age of impunity, where conflicts last longer and perpetrators run rampant, there is no end in sight to today's displacement crisis. The system set up to support those fleeing conflict is falling behind and new approaches are required. Alex Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore show what needs to be done, and how to do it. This is a great introduction for anyone concerned with the refugee crisis today."

—David Miliband, President & CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former British Foreign Secretary

"This short book takes a sobering look at today's global refugee crisis and presents an ambitious agenda for action."

—G. John Ikenberry, Foreign Affairs

"Aleinikoff and Zamore present a concise overview of the international response to forced displacement....their key ideas for the future are thoughtful and explained well. Recommended."

—D. P. Forsythe, CHOICE

"[An] essential read for scholars, advocates, and students of refugee protection at all levels of knowledge."

—Anna R. Oltman, H-Diplo