Recent statistics published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) indicate that there are at least 32.9 million people who are “persons of concern to UNHCR.” This growing population includes “refugees, returnees, [and] stateless and internally displaced persons (IDPs).” Furthermore, it is estimated that there are some “[thirty] states in the world . . . that are at some stage or another along the road to possible failure.” These are weak states beset by invasion, civil war, ethnic rivalry and tribal warfare, or struggling in the wake of any of these catastrophes. Given that 2006 saw a fifty-six percent increase in the population of concern to UNHCR, and that failed states and states on the path to failure contribute to increases in this population, it is apparent that increases in refugee and IDP populations are indicators not only of inter- and intrastate conflict, but arguably also of failed nation-building efforts. The purpose of this Article is to explore the interdependent relationship between post-conflict nation-building on the one hand, and refugee repatriation and intrastate reintegration of IDPs on the other. As will be described in more detail, although the motivations of post-conflict countries of origin and neighboring host states may differ with respect to repatriation and reintegration, the common goal of regional stability serves to align these stakeholders’ otherwise divergent interests.
Rebecca M. Wallace & Diego Quiroz,
Refugees and Internally Displaced: A Challenge to Nation-Building,
Me. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/mlr/vol60/iss2/9