A surprisingly understudied topic in international relations is that of gender-based asylum, even though the tactic has been adopted in an increasing number of countries in the global north and west. Those adjudicating gender-based asylum cases must investicate the specific category of gender violence committed against the asylum-seeker, as well as the role of the asylum-seeker's home state in being complicit with such violence. As Nayak argues, it matters not just
that but how we respond to gender violence and persecution. Feminist advocates, U.S. governmental officials, and asylum adjudicators have articulated different "frames" for different types of gender violence, promoting ideas about how to categorize violence, its causes, and who counts as its victims.
These frames, in turn, may be used successfully to grant asylum to persecuted migrants; however, the frames are also very narrow and limited. This is because the U.S. must negotiate the tension between immigration restriction and human rights obligations to protect refugees from persecution. The effects of the asylum frames are two-fold. First, they leave out or distort the stories and experiences of asylum-seekers who do not "fit" the frames. Second, the frames reflect but also serve as an
entry point to deepen, strengthen, and shape the U.S. position of power relative to other countries, international organizations, and immigrant communities. This book explores the politics of gender-based asylum through a comparative examination of asylum policy and cases regarding domestic violence,
female circumcision, rape, trafficking, coercive sterilization/abortion, and persecution based on sexual and gender identity.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 566 g
Dimensions: 242 x 161 x 24 mm
"With Who is Worthy of Protection? Meghana Nayak provides a powerful and much needed critical examination of US immigration politics via the problematic handling of gender-based asylum cases. Her careful and compelling deconstruction of the 'worthy victim frame' brings to light the detrimental processes of racialization and heteronormativity inherent in contemporary conceptualizations and practices of asylum, as the United States' flawed immigration
system constructs and negotiates a fine line between 'restriction' and 'protection.' She provides a provocative argument regarding the ways in which the United States utilizes these frames as a means of shaping,
strengthening, and legitimizing US interventions in global politics. It is a must-read for scholars, activists, and practitioners working on gender-based violence, sexuality rights, immigration rights, or human rights more broadly." - Celeste Montoya, Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
"A thoughtful and well-researched analysis of the conditional rights of migrant women that shows how asylum depends on framing and constructions of gender. The book notably pushes feminist IR in a more grounded, constructive direction." -Alison Brysk, Mellichamp Professor of Global Governance, University of California, Santa Barbara