Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.

Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

At the Border of Human Rights: Analyzing State Compliance with International Refugee Protection Norms

Jeonghyeon Kim, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation analyzes how states protect the rights of refugees who are outside their country of origin and therefore fall into a human rights protection gap. While existing research explains the different challenges and policy outcomes that the global North and South states have regarding refugee protection, little is known about the variation within the global North or South. This research aims to fill the gaps which exist not only between, but also within, the global North and South by exploring and comparing the situation of Syrian refugees in Canada, Australia, Jordan, and Qatar. In exploring relevant questions, I use a combination of qualitative research methods, including content analysis, descriptive statistics, and elites/civil society interviews. This dissertation finds that in the absence of international legal enforcement mechanisms for refugee protection, state compliance with international refugee protection norms is largely dependent on domestic politics in industrialized democracies in the global North. However, not all states benefit from a mobilized and empowered refugee civil society and human rights leadership. Therefore, this dissertation suggests that international intervention is crucial for improving refugee protection in authoritarian states in the global South. The international community can improve refugee protection in authoritarian refugee host states that are reluctant to domestic political changes to improve their actual refugee protection through external economic assistance and diplomatic pressure.

Subject Area

International Relations|Public policy

Recommended Citation

Kim, Jeonghyeon, "At the Border of Human Rights: Analyzing State Compliance with International Refugee Protection Norms" (2019). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI22615704.