The Making of the Modern Refugee is a comprehensive history of global population displacement in the twentieth century. It takes a new approach to the subject, exploring its causes, consequences, and meanings. History, the author shows, provides important clues to understanding how the idea of refugees as a "problem" embedded itself in the minds of policy-makers and the public, and poses a series of fundamental questions about the nature of enforced migration and how it has shaped society throughout the twentieth century across a broad geographical area--from Europe and the Middle East to South Asia, South-East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Wars, revolutions, and state formation are invoked as the main causal explanations of displacement, and are considered alongside the emergence of a twentieth-century refugee regime linking governmental practices, professional expertise, and humanitarian relief efforts.
This new study rests upon scholarship from several disciplines and draws extensively upon oral testimony, eye-witness accounts, and film, as well as unpublished source material in the archives of governments, international organisations, and non-governmental organisations. The Making of the Modern Refugee explores the significance that refugees attached to the places they left behind, to their journeys, and to their destinations--in short, how refugees helped to interpret and fashion their own history.
Peter Gatrell was educated at the University of Cambridge. In 1976 he joined the University of Manchester where he is currently Professor of Economic History and affiliated to new Humanitarian and Conflict Research Institute. He teaches courses on refugees in modern world history, Russian economic and social history, the cultural history of war, and the history of humanitarianism. He is the author of several books including The Tsarist Economy, 1850-1917 (1986), A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War 1 (1999), and Free World? The campaign to save the world's refugees, 1956-1963 (2011).