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The Price of IndifferenceRefugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century$
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Arthur C. Helton

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250316.001.0001

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The Last Decade's Refugee Story

The Last Decade's Refugee Story

(p.18) 2 The Last Decade's Refugee Story
The Price of Indifference

Arthur C. Helton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

In the 1990s, new conflicts broke out, particularly in connection with the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as well as several places in Africa. Initiatives were invented and re‐invented, and policy responses reverted to a largely reactive mode.

Ethnic and internal conflicts, which produced displacement emerged as key features of the decade, and sorely tested the capacity of the international community to respond to crises of forced displacement. The so‐called ‘CNN effect”’ led to engagement as well as disengagement (Somalia) and the term ‘nation building’ came into vogue and then later became an epithet. At the outset of the twenty‐first century, refugee policy is driven by selective apathy and creeping trepidation.

Keywords:   Africa, CNN effect, ethnic conflict, forced displacement, internal conflict, nation‐building, refugee policy, Somalia, USSR, Yugoslavia

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