Threatened Peoples, Threatened Borders: World Migration and U.S. Policy

This volume, the result of an American Assembly conference in late 1994, provides a comprehensive survey of the ways in which the United States affects and is affected by world migration. Most of the contributors, who include some of the foremost authorities in the field, urge more vigorous steps to contend with the forced displacement of peoples. ‘The world needs to get away from the nation-state,’ writes former U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia Warren Zimmermann, ‘as an operating concept and as a value system.’ Carl Kaysen calls for U.S. leadership in building the institutions of the international community ‘to make plain in every way’ -- including, if necessary, military force -- ‘that lawless governments that repress their own populations are not acceptable.’ Tom Farer urges the wealthy states to ‘increase exponentially material support provided directly to migrants’ and to developing states willing to shelter and assimilate them. There is much here, in short, to inspire the idealist, as well as much to confirm the pessimist in his view that the chasm is widening between the agenda of liberal internationalism and the willingness of the American public to support it.

Latest Commentary & News analysis