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Lecture | Global Questions Seminar

Refugees’ “Right to Have Rights”: Opening Doors between Nations

Thursday 12 October 2023
Global Questions Seminar 2023-2024
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden


"Why some of the most vulnerable communities in Europe, from independent cities to new monarchies, welcomed refugees during the Age of Revolutions and prospered."

The United Nations has tried since the Second World War to assure the inalienable rights of refugees in the face of civil unrest, escalating wars, and the scourge of climate change, but in the end, nations control their borders. How then to assure refugees caught between nations their rights? Might the answer be to think locally? Cities have historically offered asylum and prospered. Their open doors beckon as an alternative to fortified border walls.

About the speaker

Janet Polasky is Presidential Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire. The author of six books in comparative and transnational history, she has just published Asylum Between Nations. Refugees in a Revolutionary Era with Yale University Press.

Global Questions Seminar

The motto of the Institute for History’s research programme is ‘Global Questions, Local Sources’. Across all areas and time periods, researchers of the Institute focus on important processes such as migration, colonialism, urbanization, and identity formation.

The ‘Global Questions Seminar’, for which we invite distinguished international colleagues to discuss the interplay between global and local issues from the past, brings all staff members of the Institute for History together.

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