Screening Subjects: Humanitarian Government and the Politics of Asylum at Palawan
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Contemporary humanitarian government of refugee resettlement entails a formative politics of asylum that legally assesses the truth of persecution and thus claims to "refugee" identity. In the Palawan First-Asylum Camp from the early 1980's until 1997, forces of sovereign violence and compassion manifested how international refugee law translated through concrete humanitarian practices of camp education, emergency care, and legal contention. These multi-scalar discursive processes served the basis for resettlement of Vietnamese American. For the latter diasporic Vietnamese community, legal determination of refugee status encountered a limit in the form of hospitality that reconfigured the borders of the Philippines and Vietnam in light of cosmopolitan visions of sanctuary and pastoral care. By highlighting overlapping conditions of refuge, this thesis offers an analysis of refugee narratives and conditional recognition of refugee "identity" in relation to a selective regime of truth addressing "refugees" in contrast to other migrant subjects. A genealogy of Vietnamese-Filipino asylum-seekers underscores the mixed history of humanitarianism delivered by different stakeholders in light of militarized conflict as well as the emergence of peace, a "neoliberal" politics of immigration, welfare reform and market liberalization in the US, Vietnam and the Philippines.