Patterns of Social Conflict and Refugee Movements
From the moment of its eruption in the 1970s, the twentieth century's third refugee crisis quickly reached an unprecedented global scope, overwhelming the limited regime formed by the international community in response to the waves of refugees from the European upheavals of earlier decades. In the final chapter, we shall suggest guidelines for devising a more adequate regime, but it is evident that such an undertaking must be founded on an accurate diagnosis of the crisis itself. This can be achieved by disaggregating it into its component elements, using the empirical materials presented in the regional studies to determine what types of conflicts are most likely to generate refugees in the developing world, to specify the nature of the flows, and to assess their relative incidence.
Although the refugee crisis took the world by surprise, our regional accounts indicate that it was in the making for some time, beginning in the years immediately following World War II, when the reconstructed international community thought the evils that had spawned so many refugees in Europe in the first half of the century had been finally uprooted, and it might now proceed to resolve their sequels once and for all. The first of the non-European flows, which arose as a by-product of the formation of new states in the Indian subcontinent ( 1947), reenacted the "unmixing of nationalities" of the interwar Balkans. This process was repeated immediately afterwards in the Middle East, where the sorting out involved the sudden exodus of many Arabs from newly formed Israel ( 1948), as well as of Jews from Arab countries, a more protracted process reaching eventually as far afield as the Maghreb. As in the past, refugee problems of this sort rapidly solved themselves to the extent that the minorities had access to a homeland of their own. The fortunate ones now included the Jews, whose tragedy helped overcome their previous status as the collective "odd men out" in a world of national states. However, in a great stroke of historical irony, the solution to their predicament in turn contributed to the creation of a new stateless people, the Palestinians.
In their shadowy existence in the institutional framework devised by the international community to contain them, the Palestinians evolved into a refugee nation that, despite not having a formally constituted state, achieved a statelike capacity for pursuing its