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Title: War of Words: The Denial of Non-Refoulement in Thailand
Keywords: Refugees, Thailand, Rhetoric, UNHCR, Norm Diffusion
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2012
Source: CHENG HARRISON (2012-07-30). War of Words: The Denial of Non-Refoulement in Thailand. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis attempts to demonstrate how norm diffusion can be contested through the strategic use of language. It explains why the norm of non-refoulement, considered a fundamental norm of international refugee law, did not become empowered in Thailand by late 1978 even though the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was operating in Thailand then. UNHCR had kept quiet about Thailand's refusal to reaffirm the norm's relevance, which is puzzling given that UNHCR's mandate obligates it to promote reaffirmation of the norm. I argue that Thai statesmen managed to rhetorically coerce UNHCR officials into relinquishing their demands that Thailand empower the norm. I explore the communicative strategy of rhetorical coercion, which when skilfully wielded can compel one's critics to comply with one's interpretation of a set of events - in this case, that Thai statesmen had acted according to 'humanitarian principles' even as they denied the relevance of non-refoulement.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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