Refugee protection at risk. Right-wing populism and its threat to the principle of non-refoulement in the EU

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Achterbosch, Nora
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This thesis is an attempt to substantiate the intuition that right-wing populism poses a threat to refugee law, and involves a thorough study upon the dynamic between right-wing populism and refugee law, in specific in relation to the principle of non-refoulement. The principle of non-refoulement refers to the prohibition of forced direct or indirect removal of a refugee to a place where his or her freedom is in danger. As main thesis it will be argued that right-wing populism threatens the customary status of the principle of non-refoulement. The principle of non-refoulement is chosen as representative of refugee law, as it enjoys central attention in a variety of legal instruments and enables us to deal with the notion of refugee law in a focused manner. Through an interdisciplinary approach it will be illustrated that right-wing populism should be acknowledged as precarious for democracy and refugee law. Therefore, it should not simply be disregarded as a political momentum which will eventually dwindle down, but instead should be viewed in light of the threat it poses to fundamental values within the EU, of which the principle of non-refoulement is one.
Second semester University: KU Leuven
right-wing extremists, refugees, populism, refugee law