Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Victory of National Interest: Debates on the Belgian Forced Return Policy, 1998–2013

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Migration History

Based on the 1951 Refugee Convention, persons who have left their country ‘owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion’ are entitled to protection. The principle of non-refoulement provides that ‘no country shall expel or return a refugee against his or her will, in any manner whatsoever, to a territory where he or she fears threats to life or freedom’.1 Following the increasing numbers of asylum seekers in the 1990s, host countries began to apply the Refugee Convention criteria more strictly and refused a growing number of applicants.2 Since the summer of 2015 Europe has found itself in the middle of what is described as a ‘refugee crisis’. The crisis has brought debates about asylum, borders and return policies to the centre of the public and political conversation. A growing portion of society has called for a stricter asylum policy.This article will argue that even before this latest ‘refugee crisis’ discourses on asylum were becoming more restrictive, with a growing focus on return rather than protection. It will also show that the debates on asylum keep moving away from the definition provided in the 1951 Refugee Convention. It will do so by comparing the Belgian debates on forced return – and on asylum in general, which is inseparably connected to the subject – in the media and parliament during two periods: 1998–2001 and 2011–2013.3In the first section, we will elaborate on the theoretical framework of the analysis, paying attention to relevant concepts and secondary literature, as well as to the research questions and methodology. We will then discuss the most important empirical data on the debates’ topics and stances. In a third and final section, the major shifts in the debates will be analysed.

Affiliations: 1: De Standaard ; 2: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Migration History — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation