The arc of protection: Toward a new international refugee regime

February 13, 2019

The international refugee regime is broken. Too many people remain refugees for too long, as states in the Global North have cut resettlement programs and adopted policies to deter asylum-seekers while conflicts causing flight go unresolved.

To repair and reform the current system, The Arc of Protection (co-authored by T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Leah Zamore) suggests a new focus on refugee rights, autonomy, and mobility and attention to the role that development actors can play in responding to refugee situations. Serious changes are needed at the level of structures and institutions, especially when it comes to global responsibility-sharing. These changes are unlikely to be made by states, who have watched over the decline of the refugee protection system. Reform will require new actors and ultimately political action.


  • Randall Hansen Director, Global Migration Lab

  • Audrey Macklin Professor & Chair in Human Rights Law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law

  • Alex Aleinikoff served as Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at the New School since January 2017