Theses defended

Definindo "Refugiados" e a sua proteção: da construção da categoria às suas implicações para a(a) política(a) de asilo da União Europeia

Ana Filipa Neves

Public Defence date
April 18, 2023
Doctoral Programme
International Politics and Conflict Resolution
Daniela Nascimento
The idea behind this thesis was to think the refugee beyond its traditional state-centred framing and, consequently, to comprehend the "problems" of the person, who due to the
violence inflicted upon him/herself, becomes a refugee, overcoming the comprehension of the refugee as a "problem" that needs to be solved. With this aim to conceptualise the refugee as a moral subject and rightful holder of international protection, the theoretical basis set on normative-cosmopolitanism is made clear. In a parallel way, constructivist premises enable us to understand the reasons that motivated a clear gap between the acceptance, after Second World War, of a moral duty, that became a legal obligation, of protection of refugees and its denial, presently, within the European community area. The European Union that constituted itself on the basis of human rights principles and claims to be a normative power, uses a discourse that constructs refugees as a threat which, then, leads to practices that do not aim to protect the refugee-person, but the EU's protection against the refugee-threat. Consequently, what is argued is that the conceptualisation of "refugee" gave way to asylum policies, in the EU, that thrive, not on the protection of refugees, but on containing and controlling migration flows defined by an exclusionary rationale. By tracing the constitutive process of the "refugee" concept and the protection - moral and legal - norm that underlies it, we analyse the reasons why the humanist norm of refugee's protection has faded in the EU context in order to problematise its reset through the (re)conceptualisation of the refugee as a person whose protection he/she is justly entitled to.

Keywords: Refugee; International Protection; Cosmopolitanism; European Union