The chapter looks at categorisations as a form of ‘othering’ in the context of European refugee resettlement. Selection categories in resettlement provide insights into states’ preferences, when given the possibility to effectively select refugees before they present themselves at the border. As such, categorisations in such programmes are ways of othering within the group of ‘others’, excluding but also including according to three logics: humanitarian, security and assimilability. The chapter provides a panoramic view of official selection categories of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), European Member States, and the European Union (EU). The analysis shows that, while resettlement is framed as a humanitarian policy for the ‘most vulnerable’, some European states’ programmes and recent EU propositions indicate that besides a humanitarian logic, security and assimilability logics of ‘othering’ also draw the boundaries of access to this privileged form of refugee protection.

resettlement, humanitarian admission, selection categories, refugee policy, categorisation
Cambridge University Press,
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

Welfens, N, & Pisarevskaya, A. (2020). The 'others' amongst 'them' – selection categories in European resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes. In European Societies, Migration, and the Law: The ‘Others' amongst ‘Us' (pp. 81–104). Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108767637.006