Covid-19 has not only slowed down our fieldwork but has also sneaked insidiously into all parts of PROTECT – into our survey questionnaires, interview guides, data grids, and discussion fora – as we encountered its effects on refugees and international protection in the natural course of our research. It is currently on its way into PROTECT’s global cleavage theory.
It is precisely by aiming at the center of a very polarized political spectrum, and by presenting itself as a compromise, that the proposal can hope to spark a fruitful debate. Any expansive or restrictive suggestion from the angle of Northern, Eastern, or Southern states would be immediately dismissed by the opposing fringe.
From the definition of refugees to the practical implementation of the right to asylum, refugee regimes are an issue leading to sharp political divisions or outright stand-off in a number of countries. Is this no-exit-road impression the truth of the matter, and what are the prospects of the Global Compact in this not-so-rosy scenario?