History, Theory and Reoccurring Debates around the Question of Refugee

Dr. Dina Hadad
Assistant Professor – KILAW


The crisis of refugees in recent years presents the international community with one of the most controversial challenges to international human rights. This paper will locate and read this crisis through the lens of Schmitt’s theory and its critique by contemporary theorist. Namely the work of Agamben and his concept of ‘Homo Sacer’ will be used to illustrate its relevance to the ‘stateless’ reality of refugees and the denial of their basic human rights. For this purpose, the German constitution will be reviewed as the set model of Schmitt theory before looking into the reoccurring debates around this theoretical framewrok. This paper argues that the reoccurring of Schmitt and the unfortunate consequences on human rights should be regarded as an alarming development that calls for a reconsideration of international norms to protect refugees’ basic rights and other vulnerable groups due to this practice.
Keywords: Refugees, Constitutionalism, International law, Schmitt, Human Rights, ‘Homo Sacer’.

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