Can We Solve the Migration Crisis?

Jacqueline Bhabha. Polity, $12.95 trade paper (140p) ISBN 978-1-509-51940-8
In her slim but weighty treatise on the nature of “distress migration,” in which people flee “political instability and state failure,” Harvard School of Public Health professor Bhabha passionately argues that developed nations are morally obligated to address the migration spurred by the Syrian Civil War. The author builds her case for action on a foundation of history and philosophy. She begins by arguing that the mass migration of Syrian refugees is neither a crisis nor historically unique. Next, she probes the gap between the outcry about migrants’ plight that followed the 2015 publication of a photo of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy and the lack of action taken by countries founded on tenets of the three Abrahamic religions, all of which advocate helping those in need. She brings in arguments for a duty of care from such philosophers as Kant, Arendt, and Keyes, giving particular emphasis to the Kantian notion of shared human destiny. In addition to advocating the goals of avoiding conflict and housing more refugees, Bhabha calls for countries to promote fixes to employment programs and education to give refugees a chance at a future. This book is an insightful and passionate argument for finding a humane resolution to the problems that cause and attend distress migration (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
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