Hosting Your Enemy: Accepting Refugees From a Rival State and Respect for Human Rights – Journal of Global Security Studies – article

Hosting Your Enemy: Accepting Refugees From a Rival State and Respect for Human Rights

Tiffany S. Chu | Journal of Global Security Studies

2019-10-22

This article argues that dynamics among rivals can affect how host states respond to refugees. Particularly, refugees from rival states can motivate host countries to promote inclusive action because they are exiled from an adversary. By treating refugees well and openly respecting their human rights, host states can, in effect, shame their rival, thereby undermining the adversary’s legitimacy and discrediting the opposing government in the eyes of the international community. In the absence of a strategic rivalry, host governments do not have this incentive to support refugee human rights. Using statistical analyses, I find support for these hypotheses. In particular, the arrival of refugees from a neighboring rival state are associated with the strongest increase in respect for human rights within the host country, whereas refugees from a noncontiguous, nonrival state are related to a decrease in respect for human rights.

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