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Conceptualizing sovereignty and its relation to the State, refugees, and international relations

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posted on 2021-05-22, 14:04 authored by Laura McAlpine
This MRP seeks to illustrate why and how states circumstantially employ their sovereignty in regards to international forced migration. My thesis is, that states, dependent on their degree of sovereignty, are negligent in their capacity to accommodate refugees. In pursuing this thesis, I examine state sovereignty from the International Relations framework and conceptualize sovereignty as a derivative of the state. Furthermore, I situate ‘the state’ with political realism; and align its opposing paradigm, political idealism, with the United Nations. Using qualitative measurements of state sovereignty, I find that although states have signed international agreements that hold them accountable to facilitate in the resettlement of refugees when international conflict ensues, states claim that because refugees threaten security, as well as the economic, political, social integrity of the state, they cannot and will not accept them. Key words: sovereignty, the state, refugees, International Relations, the United Nations





Master of Arts


Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type