Frontier Justice Book Summary - Frontier Justice Book explained in key points
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Frontier Justice summary

Andy Lamey

The Global Refugee Crisis and What to Do About It

3.9 (86 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

'Frontier Justice' by Andy Lamey is a thought-provoking analysis of the world's response to the refugee crisis. It examines the moral and ethical implications of border control and challenges readers to rethink their perceptions of migration.

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    Frontier Justice
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    Hannah Arendt’s struggle in war-torn early twentieth-century Europe still typifies the modern refugee experience.

    Though the story of German-Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt’s time as a refugee dates back to the 1930s, her story nonetheless continues to resonate today. But which parallels can we draw between her story and that of the modern refugee?

    The rise of nationalism following World War I caused millions of people to become displaced. International borders were being redrawn, a revolution was taking place in Russia and Turks were slaughtering Armenians. As a result, there were 9.5 million refugees stranded across Europe by 1926.

    Moreover, the nationalization of welfare provisions and national responsibility for economic well-being led to a sharp distinction between what constituted a “national” and a “foreigner.”

    The rise of nationalism in Europe that followed led the fascist Nazi party to seize power in Germany. Their anti-Semitic laws and rhetoric caused 25,000 people, including Arendt, to flee the country and become refugees.

    Arendt first fled to Czechoslovakia, then France and eventually the United States. During her travels, she experienced firsthand the way many nations see refugees fleeing persecution as “undesirables” and potential threats to their way of life. In this way, Arendt was a quintessentially modern refugee.

    Inspired by these experiences, her writings pose questions about the conflict between the rights of citizens versus human rights, something refugees struggle with to this day.

    Citizens are granted rights through their belonging to nations. Refugees, however, lose these rights once they cross the border into another country. Arendt proposes that without the benefit of citizenship, refugees can’t expect to receive any rights, which of course inspires the question: does a set of fundamental human rights exist beyond borders?

    When people show up at the border of a new country, the most they can hope for is a moral response to their humanity.

    These questions were compiled in her landmark book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, which, since its publishing in 1951, still holds up as the definitive account of the injustices that refugees face.

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    What is Frontier Justice about?

    Frontier Justice (2011) offers a detailed historical account of the plight of refugees. It also presents viable solutions that could improve the lives of refugees while ensuring a higher degree of safety for their host countries.

    Frontier Justice Review

    Frontier Justice (2021) by Andy Lamey is a captivating exploration of the dark side of justice and its implications for society. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • Through thought-provoking case studies and in-depth research, it sheds light on the complexities of delivering justice in the face of social and cultural challenges.
    • The book challenges common assumptions about justice and highlights the power dynamics at play, prompting readers to question their own beliefs and values.
    • With its compelling storytelling and nuanced analysis, it keeps readers engaged, ensuring that the exploration of justice never becomes dull or one-sided.

    Best quote from Frontier Justice

    The ultimate explanation of the interwar crisis of asylum, Arendt concluded, was the simple fact that the word is divided into states.

    —Andy Lamey
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    Who should read Frontier Justice?

    • Anyone with an interest in global politics
    • People interested in the origins and impacts of international refugee crises
    • Anyone concerned about human rights violations and humanitarian efforts

    About the Author

    Andy Lamey is a professor of philosophy at University of California, San Diego and a journalist whose work has appeared in the Canadian publications National Post and Maclean’s. In addition, Lamey has produced numerous radio documentaries for the CBC series Ideas.

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    Frontier Justice FAQs 

    What is the main message of Frontier Justice?

    The main message of Frontier Justice explores ethical dilemmas and the complex nature of justice.

    How long does it take to read Frontier Justice?

    The reading time for Frontier Justice varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Frontier Justice a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Frontier Justice is worth reading as it provides thought-provoking insights on ethics and the justice system.

    Who is the author of Frontier Justice?

    The author of Frontier Justice is Andy Lamey.

    What to read after Frontier Justice?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Frontier Justice, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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