(K. Brent Tomer),
Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System. By Alexander Betts and Paul Collier. Allen Lane; 265 pages; £20. To be published in America by OUP in September.
THE European migration crisis of 2015 quickly turned into a morality play. Liberals lined railway platforms to welcome refugees, while their nativist foes warned of chaos and terrorism. Lost in the row were the millions of refugees who stayed in the developing world, unwilling or unable to journey to richer countries. The boats disgorging Syrians and Afghans onto Greek islands delivered one of the most serious emergencies the European Union has ever known. But according to a new book, they were a sideshow.
The starting point of “Refuge” by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier, a refugee expert and a development economist, is the plight of the 86% of refugees who live in poor countries. The outlook for most is grim. Although the number of people displaced by conflict or persecution (including those forced to flee inside their own countries) is at a post-war high of 65m, more salient is the length of their exile: about half the world’s refugees have…Continue reading