The Global Shelter Imaginary
Peace and Conflict Studies
There are now 65 million people displaced by the convergence of climate, conflict, and political economy. And, even those numbers exceed the numbers of the dispossessed following World War II, their actual number is much greater. If one takes into account the fact that a total of 1.2 billion people are now under threat of displacement, one begins to understand that the planet is currently facing a global shelter crisis. How is one to understand the relation between the human right to shelter and the politics of its provision? The modern era’s principal invention for managing the dispossessed is the refugee camp. “Camp Humanitarianism” directly correlated to developments in war and international humanitarian law at once, but increasingly changes in the character of conflict on one hand, and the function of states in the international system on the other, have begun to cast the phenomenon in a new light. The topical portion of this course reviews that transformation as well as evaluations ofit, chiefly by looking at the biopolitical dimensions of camp humanitarianism and the claims made for it.
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