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Staying Alive in the Ruins

Richard J. Evans: Plato to Nato, 22 April 2021

Ruin and Renewal: Civilising Europe after World War Two 
by Paul Betts.
Profile, 536 pp., £25, November 2020, 978 1 78816 109 1
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... chunks of Ancient Greek from memory.In his original and engrossing book, the Oxford historian Paul Betts, an American who experienced ‘Western Civ’ at first hand, perhaps underplays the classical origins of the idea. ‘Civilisation’ in the classical tradition already incorporated many of its contemporary meanings, from advanced technology and ...

Should we build a wall around North Wales?

Daniel Trilling: The Refugee Crisis, 13 July 2017

Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move 
by Reece Jones.
Verso, 208 pp., £16.99, October 2016, 978 1 78478 471 3
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Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System 
by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier.
Allen Lane, 288 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 0 241 28923 5
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No Borders: The Politics of Immigration Control and Resistance 
by Natasha King.
Zed, 208 pp., £16.99, October 2016, 978 1 78360 467 8
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... that the international system of refugee protection is supposed to address, but as Alexander Betts and Paul Collier argue in Refuge, the system isn’t working. The 1951 Refugee Convention, the founding document of today’s system, ‘sets out the morally incontrovertible idea that people who face ...

Short Cuts

Frances Webber: Detaining Refugees, 4 March 2021

... borders closed.The government appears to support the argument put forward in Alexander Betts and Paul Collier’s book Refuge (reviewed by Daniel Trilling in the LRB of 13 July 2017) that asylum seekers who come to Europe rather than staying in a country close to their own are not refugees but economic ...

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