Seminar: Global Refugee Crises: Root Causes, Responses and Legal Obligations by Tom Syring

In the past couple of years we have witnessed an unprecedented rise in the number of people uprooted by conflict and dire living conditions, often traversing multiple regions on their way to safety.

The presentation draws on recent and current research projects, including a book on the root causes of protracted refugee crises (photo), and a forthcoming, co-edited volume: “War, Occupation, and Refugees”, Routledge.

In response to the challenges posed by these patterns of conflict and migration, states have increasingly aimed at restricting the influx of refugees and migrants, notably in the U.S. and Europe, and instead focused their attention and resources on cooperation projects in and agreements with the countries of origin – to varying degrees of success and persuasiveness.

But, despite such efforts of containment and notwithstanding the positive effects some of these projects may have on the people directly affected, we should be very cognizant about certain facts: (1) conflicts and harsh living conditions will still exist and force people to leave; (2) irrespective of the level of border control or barriers, people will still flee and seek access to more secure countries; (3) providing refugees access to protection is not just a moral, but a legal obligation, flowing from the Refugee Convention.

Acknowledging these realities has an impact on how to address current and looming future refugee crises.

This talk will discuss some of the root causes of conflict and inherent drivers of migration and refugee flows underlying current global refugee crises, illustrating the complexity of the issues by employing various country specific examples from Europe, the U.S., and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The presentation draws on recent and current research projects, including a book (co-edited, with Susan Akram) on the root causes of protracted refugee crises (“Still Waiting for Tomorrow: The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises”, pictured above), and a forthcoming, co-edited volume (with Richard Falk) on state responsibility for refugees and other people in need of protection in the context of war and occupation (“War, Occupation, and Refugees”, Routledge).


  • Short introduction by Kjetil M. Larsen 
  • Presentation by Tom Syring 
  • Questions and discussion

Feel free to bring your lunch. Coffee and tea will be served.
The seminar is free, but due to seatings please sign up here:

Published Apr. 6, 2017 11:34 AM - Last modified Apr. 27, 2017 3:42 PM