New Book: Survival Migration by Alexander Betts

09 July, 2013

Alexander Betts’ new book Survival Migration: Failed Governance and the Crisis of Displacement (Cornell University Press, 2013) has now been published. It explores the challenge of responding to new drivers of cross-border displacement that fall outside the existing refugee framework.

Rather than beginning with particular causes of displacement – whether environmental change, food insecurity or generalised violence – the book offers a human rights-based framework through which to critically consider who, in a changing world, should be entitled to cross an international border and seek asylum. Based on extensive fieldwork, the book grounds its analysis in an exploration of contemporary flight from three of the most fragile states in the world: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

It explains the massive variation in national and international institutional responses in the neighbouring states, arguing that politics rather than law ultimately determines how the refugee regime is implemented in practice. The book offers important insights into how the international refugee regime can adapt to address the changing nature of displacement.

The book is available in paperback from Cornell University Press. Visit