Political asylum is based on a discourse of rescue that corresponds in part to discussions of precarity, interdependence, and mutual vulnerabilities in transnational feminist work. Although political asylum can be seen as a response to a human rights solicitation, this solicitation is often refused, resulting in deportation rather than asylum for most applicants. Individuals who claim persecution on account of disability face additional obstacles and are caught between conflicting discourses of rescue, exacerbated by their being both invisible and hypervisible within the political asylum system. Building on our earlier work on discourses of refusal within the political asylum process, we examine how, consistent with disability rights discourses, the refused individuals themselves refuse the narratives and subject positions assigned to them. Further, we consider how the refusal of rescue itself participates in the maintenance of asymmetrical transnational power relations.


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pp. 121-145
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