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dc.contributor.advisorBradstock, Andrew
dc.contributor.advisorRae, Murray
dc.contributor.authorFleming, Rebecca Jane
dc.date.available2014-02-12T21:06:28Z
dc.date.copyright2014
dc.identifier.citationFleming, R. J. (2014). Sovereign State Power and the Refugee: A Theological Engagement with Issues of State Sovereignty and its Implications for Refugee Policy Reform in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Theology). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/4592en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/4592
dc.description.abstractThe current statistics from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees indicate the existence of an urgent global refugee crisis. In response to this crisis the New Zealand Government has proposed immigration policy reform, primarily through the Immigration Amendment Bill 2012. In this thesis I place the domestic debate regarding these policy reforms within the context of the international, deontological debate regarding the justification and legitimacy of nation-states and their obligations toward refugees and asylum seekers, and provide a theological perspective on it. I am concerned specifically with the questions “does a theological engagement with the deontological debate regarding the justification and legitimacy of nation-states, and the nature of their power, support the assumption that the New Zealand Government possesses the right to determine unilaterally its immigration policies regarding refugees and asylum seekers as it sees fit? If it does not, what limitations should be applied to the power able to be exercised by the New Zealand government when forming or reviewing these policies?” In order to engage theologically with the deontological debate I apply the reasoning of ethicists Christopher Wellman and Philip Cole to a biblical-theology of nations and their use of power to determine their theological justifiability. With a focus on the work of Oliver O’Donovan, this investigation reveals that secular authority in the post-Christ era is responsible for maintaining law and order subject to various limitations, including the requirement to act in accordance with the principles of justice. In the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, justice requires that a state upholds a duty of care derived from scriptural principles. Therefore, on the basis of this research, it can be concluded that a theological perspective supports the New Zealand Government’s right to develop and enforce its border policies if it acts within the stipulated theological limitations. This is because the nation can be understood as possessing a qualified sovereignty. However, when applying the duty of care owed by states to refugees, the current proposed policy reforms are inconsistent with this duty and need revision.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectRefugee
dc.subjectasylum
dc.subjectstate
dc.subjectNew Zealand
dc.titleSovereign State Power and the Refugee: A Theological Engagement with Issues of State Sovereignty and its Implications for Refugee Policy Reform in New Zealand
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2014-02-12T05:05:36Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineTheology
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Theology
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
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