Refugee crisis, imperialism and pitiless wars on the poor

Khiabany, Gholam. 2016. Refugee crisis, imperialism and pitiless wars on the poor. Media, Culture & Society, 38(5), pp. 755-762. ISSN 0163-4437 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

According to the UN Refugee Agency, 59.5 million people around the world were forcibly displaced in 2014. The numbers are particularly high in countries which have been subject to a process of ‘redrawing the map’ by imperial powers or their regional allies. The response to the recent developments – a stage which has been dubbed as ‘refugee crisis’ – is as polarising and as problematic as before. On the one hand we have witnessed the heroic acts not only of the refugees themselves who moved collectively and refused to queue ‘orderly’ in the immigration lines, but also the magnificent response of citizens in all over Europe who rushed to feed, clothe, accommodate and welcome them. In contrast the overwhelming institutional response by ‘liberal’ states has been, and remains, depressingly illiberal. The official response to this humanitarian crisis – which is after all the product of ‘humanitarian interventions’ – has nothing to do with whether or not Europe can cope with a ‘swarm of people’ aiming to exploit the ‘host’ countries. It is to do with managing a massive reserve army of labour. Forced migration is not only a product of this staggering inequality but also an important element of how that inequality is produced, maintained and managed.

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Identification Number (DOI):


Refugee crisis, forced migration, imperialism, global inequality, racism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre


10 June 2016Published Online
1 July 2016Published

Copyright Holders:

Gholam Khiabany, Sage Publication

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Date Deposited:

13 Jun 2016 07:25

Last Modified:

18 Jun 2019 09:02

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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