On the Margins of the World: The Refugee Experience Today
June 2008, Polity
New populations appear, defined by their shared conditions of
fear and victimhood and by their need to survive outside of their
homelands. Their lives are marked by the daily trudge of
dislocation, refugee camps, humanitarian help and the never-ending
wait. These populations are the emblems of a new human condition
which takes shape on the very margins of the world.
In this remarkable book Michel Agier sheds light on this process
of dislocation and quarantine which is affecting an ever-growing
proportion of the world's population. He describes the experience
of these people, speaking of their pain and their plight but also
criticising their victimization by the rest of the world.
Agier analyses the ambiguous and often tainted nature of identities shaped in and by conflicts, but also the process taking place in the refugee camp itself, which allows refugees and the deported to create once again a sense of community and of shared humanity.
- this book is a vivid account of the experience of being a refugee – of living a life in transit, stuck in refugee camps, surviving on humanitarian aid and the never-ending wait
- Agier gives a voice to the growing number of people who find themselves becoming refugees: 50 million people in the world today are victims of forced relocation caused by wars and conflicts
- the book is comparative and uses examples from all over the world – from Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East
- this book will be an ideal text for courses on refugees and migration. It will also appeal to a wide general readership.
Global Change, Peace and Security
"Agier writes thoughtfully and passionately about the plight of
"The essays would provide excellent material for review and
discussion in short courses on forced migration, where it would
provide valuable stimulus for debate amongst humanitarians,
researchers and policy makers."
Journal of Refugee Studies
"A seminal, eye-opening study ... the most insightful inquiry to
date into the plight of the refugees of the present era."
Zygmunt Bauman, Universities of Leeds and Warsaw