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date: 19 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the language of burden sharing commonly used by the international community and argues that the very structures of the refugee protection regime account for the resistance to pursuing fluid, dynamic, and comprehensive solutions for the plight of refugees. It considers the Western states’ commitment to responsibility sharing and the paradigm shift from atomistic and mono-dimensional (Cartesian) interventions in countries of asylum to holistic and multi-dimensions approaches in refugee source regions, along with its implications for burden sharing. It provides an overview of the Cartesian paradigm and discusses issues such as who is affected by the ‘burden’ or who should address the ‘burden’. It also looks at the shift from the Cartesian approach to a systems approach and how it has altered the ‘burden’-sharing debate.

Keywords: burden sharing, protection, refugees, responsibility sharing, paradigm shift, asylum, Cartesian paradigm, burden, Cartesian approach, systems approach

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