Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Interdisciplinary and Comparative Perspectives

by S. Megan Berthold and Kathryn R. Libal, Editors


In 2017, 68.5 million people worldwide fled or were forced from their homes due to human rights violations and violent conflicts.

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Cover image for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

June 2019


Pages 381
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Human Rights and Civil Liberties
  Current Events and Issues/Politics and Government

This volume engages human rights, domestic immigration law, refugee policy in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and scholarship to examine forced migration, refugee resettlement, asylum seeker experiences, policies and programs for refugee well-being in North America and Europe.

Given the recent "re-politicization" of forced migration and refugees in Europe and the U.S., this edited collection presents an in-depth, multi-dimensional analysis of the history of policies and laws related to the status of refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and the challenges and prospects of refugee and asylum seeker assistance and integration in the 21st century.

The book provides rich insights on institutional perspectives critical to understanding the politics and practices of refugee resettlement and the asylum process in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including international human rights and humanitarian law as well as domestic laws and policies related to forced migrants. Issues addressed include social welfare supports for resettled refugees; culturally responsive health and mental health approaches to working with refugees and asylum seekers; systemic failures in the asylum processing systems; and rights-based approaches to working with forced migrant children. The book also examines policy developments and strategies to advance the well-being and social inclusion of refugees in the U.S. and Europe.


  • Provides 12 contributed chapters covering the legal, historical, and contemporary issues facing refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe
  • Includes several case studies from individuals who came to the U.S. as refugees from a range of other nations
  • Covers the medical, mental health, and social issues faced by new refugees and asylum seekers
  • Discusses the fraught politics of creating just policies for forced migrants in North America and Europe
Author Info

S. Megan Berthold, PhD, LCSW, is associate professor and director of field education at the University of Connecticut's School of Social Work. She has provided clinical and forensic services to diverse refugee and asylum seeking survivors since the mid-1980s in the United States and in refugee camps in Asia. She has testified extensively as an expert witness in U.S. Immigration Court. Her National Institute of Mental Health-funded research examined the prevalence of mental and physical health consequences among Cambodian refugee genocide survivors. She is author of Human Rights-Based Approaches to Clinical Social Work and coeditor of Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education.

Kathryn R. Libal, PhD, is associate professor of social work and human rights and director of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. Her scholarship has addressed women's and children's rights in Turkey; international advocacy for Iraqi refugees; and the localization of human rights norms and practices in the United States. She is coeditor of Human Rights in the United States: Beyond Exceptionalism, coauthor of Human Rights-Based Approaches to Community Practice in the United States and coeditor of Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education.

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