In inter-war Europe, millions of refugees, including Russians, Armenians, Greeks, and Jews, constituted a major humanitarian and political issue. This book examines the origins of refugee movements of the 1920s and 1930s and international responses to them. The book argues that international assistance efforts by governments, the League of Nations, and private organizations were part of an international regime, and this regime had - and continues to have - a significant impact on refugee policy. During the inter-war years, the first international refugee law was developed, the first refugee settlement projects were carried out, and the first High Commissioner for refugees was appointed. Over time, the influence of the regime contributed to the establishment of a special status for people who flee their home country because of war or persecution, a status that differentiated refugees from economic migrants, and gave them preferential treatment in domestic and international law.
The rapidly growing importance of refugee issues in contemporary international politics means that the questions explored in this book continue to be as relevant as ever.
`This is a scholarly work of particular interest to historians ... The book certainly has lessons for anyone concerned with contemporary refugee crises, and the policies currently adopted to deal with their causes and consequences.'
Journal of Refugee Studies
`An invaluable study of the principles, norms, and negotiations among public and private institutions that constituted the regime ... Extensive bibliography and statistical charts enhance the scholarship. Recommended highly for university and public libraries.'
`An invaluable study of the principles, norms, and negotiations among public and private institutions that constituted the regime. She portrays meticulously the roles of Fridtjof Nansen (the first High Commissioner for refugees) and Philip Noel-Baker, of the League's secretariat, as dedicated humanitarians ... Extensive bibliography and statistical charts enhance the scholarship. Recommended highly for university and public libraries.'
`Through cogent, well-documented argument, Skran's excellent book sheds new light on the international refugee regime's emergence and impact during the interwar period.'
The American Journal of International Law
`Her narrative description economically covers a wide range of issues ... her review of the secondary theoretical and descriptive literature, her concise discussion of the causes for forced migration, and for countries' refusal to allow emigration, is extremely timely in light of issues bedevilling the industrial countries of Europe and America today ... Skran's useful review of inter-war refugee policy reminds us of its enduring role in international
International History Review