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Politics and International Relations (PIR): People


Alec Ross

Alec Ross
Alec Ross
Edinburgh UK
(+44) (0)738 068 0708
Research Interests
Social and Political Theory, Refugee studies, Applied ethics, Human rights, refugees/migration and displacement;, marketisation, Immigration and asylum policy, Forced migration

Refugees have a unique claim for admission on capable states. However, many states are presently unwilling to fulfill this claim. The result is an asymmetry, with few states admitting disproportionately large populations, while others do little or nothing to help. To address this, there have been several attempts to develop international duty-sharing institutions that allow both for better protection for refugee populations and a more equitable distribution of the obligation to host. This project concerns both of these. In so doing, it delineates several relevant normative principles undergirding a just duty-distribution scheme: 1) the protection of basic human rights and 2) real-world applicability. This project then engages with key questions stemming from their application onto the real world: ‘By what metric can a ‘fair share’ of quota allotments be distributed?’ And ‘what does justice require of participating state in the event of non-compliance?’ On the former, this work suggests that the popular method of a GDP-based distribution is normatively unsatisfactory by addressing the ways in which it fails to capture information relevant to resettlement, could not be consider the relative capacities of host states and is therefore not incentivizing. A secondary converting metric is posited in addition to the existing one. On the latter, this work points to foreseeable effects of ‘taking up the slack’ in the real-world by addressing the moral hazard effected by ‘slack taking’ and by comparing these effects with the aforementioned normative principles of a just duty-distribution scheme.