Hypocritical Inhospitality: The Global Refugee Crisis in the Light of History

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    One of the justifications offered by European imperial powers for the violent conquest, subjection, and, often, slaughter of indigenous peoples in past centuries was those peoples' violation of a duty of hospitality. Today, many of these same powers-including European Union member states and former settler colonies such as the United States and Australia-take increasingly extreme measures to avoid granting hospitality to refugees and asylum seekers. Put plainly, whereas the powerful once demanded hospitality from the vulnerable, they now deny it to them. This essay examines this hypocritical inhospitality of former centers of empire and former settler colonies and concludes that, given that certain states accrued vast wealth and territory from the European colonial project, which they justified in part by appeals to a duty of hospitality, these states are bound now to extend hospitality to vulnerable outsiders not simply as a matter of charity, but as justice and restitution for grave historical wrongs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-12
    JournalEthics and International Affairs
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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