Threats, monsters and the ‘Refugee Crisis’

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Boaventura de Sousa Santos treated Tilburg University to a colorful and rich pallet of topics during his Montesquieu lecture that prompted self-reflection and critical review of the role of law in our western societies. He argued that the way the law functions today leads to the creation of an abyssal line that creates radical exclusions. Although critical of the role of law and the legal regime in western societies, he encourages us, lawyers of the 21st century, to reform and further develop the law in such a way that it is built on democratic pluralism, interculturality and dignity and as such contributes to a more inclusive society. In this short reflection on de Sousa Santos’ Lecture, I highlight some examples and situations that show how rules and procedures of Western societies
can have detrimental effects on large groups of refugees and migrants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
JournalTilburg Law Review: Journal on international and comparative law
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2017


  • refugee crisis
  • montesquieu lecture
  • European Union

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