Constructing Human Freedom: The Refugee Convention and Networks of Power

Paresh Kathrani


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 sought to uphold the minimum conditions by which all people lead their lives. The instrument was based on the assumption that there was a certain level of freedom that was necessary for people everywhere to live -- and UN viewed that the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and its subsequent Protocol 1967 would enable people to protect this freedom if it was threatened. However, this has been affected with respect to refugee protection by the operation of intersubjective power. It is argued that it is necessary to explicate such power networks in order to ensure that both policy makers and people appreciate its effects and thereby the need to give human rights norms their proper weight.


Refugee Convention 1951; Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948; Knowledge Paradigms; Intersubjective Power; Human Freedom

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236