Abstract Current challenges to the traditionally privileged position of law in both refugee policy and refugee studies invite scholars to consider carefully the approach we take to our craft. This article argues that refugee law scholarship is surrounded by thin walls, as researchers broker the 'dual imperative' to simultaneously advance knowledge and protection in a field heavily influenced by policy interests and networks of practitioners that actively take part in, and promote, scholarly production. These close links between the field and the policy world continue to shape research agendas, methodologies, and scholarly positions. This article draws from Bourdieusian field theory and legal sociology to offer a prism through which to look at the forces that influence refugee law research and to consider their implications for scholarship. It is argued that greater sensitivity to the underlying dynamics of our profession is essential, not only to ensure more inclusivity in the community of scholars and expand the current canon of refugee law, but ultimately to sustain claims to policy relevance.
In the world we live in today, the presence and claims of crisis abound – from climate change, financial and political crisis to depression, livelihoods and personal security crisis. There is a challenge to studying crisis due to the ways in which crisis as a notion, condition and experience refers to and operates at various societal levels. Further, different kinds of crisis can overlap and intersect with each other, and act as precursors or consequences of other crises, in what can be thought of as inter-crisis relations or chains of crises. This article makes an enquiry into how to develop more adequate analytical tools for understanding crisis as a multidimensional phenomenon. We ask how crisis can be conceptualised and what the analytical potentials of a distinct crisis perspective might be? In this article we suggest a multi- and interdisciplinary approach to bridge between traditionally separated realms. Our ambition is to present a case for the development of Interdisciplinary Crisis Studies as a field of scholarly enquiry, which allows for new perspectives on data collection and analysis. Using the cases of, first, crisis and security and, second, crisis and climate, conflict and migration, we illustrate how studying and intervening in crises requires non-linear approaches which connect across disciplines to develop more comprehensive, interdisciplinary understandings of societal problems and better solutions. In concluding the paper, we assert that key features of Interdisciplinary Crisis Studies must include (1) temporality, spatiality and scale; (2) multi-layeredness, processuality and contradictions; and (3) gender, intersectionality and social inequalities.
With more than 158,000 treaties and some 125 judicial organisations, international law has become an inescapable factor in world politics since the Second World War. In recent years, however, international law has also been increasingly challenged as states are voicing concerns that it is producing unintended effects and accuse international courts of judicial activism. This book provides an important corrective to existing theories of international law by focusing on how states respond to increased legalisation and rely on legal expertise to manoeuvre within and against international law. Through a number of case studies, covering a wide range of topical issues such as surveillance, environmental regulation, migration and foreign investments, the book argues that the expansion and increased institutionalisation of international law itself have created the structural premise for this type of politics of international law. More international law paradoxically increases states' political room of manoeuvre in world society.