Book Colloquium: Voting Rights of Refugees

In this book colloquium Dr. Ruvi Ziegler will discuss his new book Voting Rights of Refugees, published in January 2017 by Cambridge University Press. As 2017 draws to a close, its dramatic events highlight the timeliness of such a book. Increased attention to the mass movement of asylum seekers and refugees across borders, and the dynamic nature of communities and national politics, intensified over the last year. Discussing this important book with a distinguished panel of experts will make for a tantalising and relevant conversation.
Voting Rights of Refugees develops a novel legal argument about the voting rights of refugees recognised in the 1951 Geneva Convention. The main normative contention is that such refugees should have the right to vote in the political community where they reside, assuming that this community is a democracy and that its citizens have the right to vote. The book argues that recognised refugees are a special category of non-citizen residents: they are unable to participate in elections of their state of origin, do not enjoy its diplomatic protection and consular assistance abroad, and are unable or unwilling, owing to a well-founded fear of persecution, to return to it. Refugees deserve to have a place in the world, in the Arendtian sense, where their opinions are significant and their actions are effective. Their state of asylum is the only community in which there is any prospect of political participation on their part.
Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler is an Associate Professor in International Refugee Law at the University of Reading, School of Law, where he is Director of the Global LLM programmes in Human Rights, International Law, and Advanced Legal Studies. Ruvi is an Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple; Convenor of the ‘Civil Liberties and Human Rights’ Section of the Society of Legal Scholars; Editor-in-Chief of the Refugee Law Initiative (Institute for Advance Legal Study, University of London) Working Paper Series; and a Researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute, analysing the treatment of asylum seekers in Israel as part of the Democratic Principles project. Ruvi’s public engagements include serving as Chair of the Oxford European Association; as an advisor to the ‘New Europeans’ citizenship unit; as a ‘Britain in Europe’ expert; and an advisory council member of ‘Rene Cassin’‘.
Panel Discussants
Dora Kostakopoulou, Professor of of European Union Law, European Integration and Public Policy at Warwick School of Law
Kirsten McConnachie, Assistant Professor at Warwick School of Law and Research Associate of the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre
Ralph Wilde, Reader in Law at UCL
Matthew Gibney, Professor of Politics and Forced Migration, Official Fellow of Linacre College, and Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford.
Chaired by Liora Lazarus, Associate Professor in Law, and a Fellow of St. Anne’s College