Many books about refugees focus on their trauma, loss, and victimhood. Refugees are often regarded as problems for governments and social services in the countries where they seek asylum. This unique book presents a very different view. Coupling existential themes with politics and psychology, Political Refugees tells the story of a number of Iranian political refugees, through case studies and through Armin Danesh’s own life story. Danesh has more than three decades of experience of working with refugees who have survived trauma and who continue to work for the causes close to their hearts. All the refugees presented here were politically engaged and suffered as a consequence. In their new home country, however, they not only survived but were reborn and forged new opportunities.
The book demonstrates people's capacity to transform themselves through crisis. The stories told will be invaluable for organizations or individuals who study or work with refugees or anyone who has suffered extreme adversity.
Armin Danesh is a consultant psychotherapist, director of a human rights organization, and chair of a mental health charity. He worked for over thirty years with refugee families who were traumatized or facing extreme crisis, and his doctoral thesis was about the experiences of these political refugees. As well as teaching phenomenological therapy, Danesh currently supervises psychotherapists, counselors, and students. Coupling existential themes with politics and psychology is characteristic of Danesh’s clinical and academic work; he integrates Western and Eastern philosophical views to shed light on existential issues.
Alison Assiter is a professor of feminist theory at UWE, Bristol. She is a philosopher and has written a number of books on political philosophy, feminist philosophy, and Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophy. Her two most recent books are A New Theory of Human Rights: New Materialism and Zoroastrianism and Kierkegaard, Eve and Metaphors of Birth. She is an active campaigner on human rights issues, an editor of the journal Feminist Dissent, and has volunteered in an organization for refugees and migrants.
Alison Assiter and Armin Danesh
1 The Refugee “Problem”
2 My Perception of Political Refugees
3 I Am a Political Refugee
4 The Research Strategy
5 The Participants’ Voice
6 Experiences of Adaptation and Resettlement in the United Kingdom
7 Clinical Relevance
Armin Danesh and Alison Assiter
About the Authors
This engaging book considers political refugees from their own perspectives. It carefully combines individual case studies with relevant theoretical viewpoints in a way that is both respectful of trauma and appreciative of psychological change and personal opportunities
We become complicit in the worldwide injustice that creates political refugees when we feign that we are not implicated in their fate. Political Refugees will engage you and change your perspective, allowing you to resonate with refugees’ suffering, sacrifice, and courage as they enter into their quest to find a new home in exile, turning wrongs into rights so that they may rise from the ashes.