This book explores the legitimacy of political asylum applications in the US and UK through an examination of the varieties of evidence, narratives, and documentation with which they are assessed. Credibility is the central issue in determining the legitimacy of political asylum seekers, but the line between truth and lies is often elusive, partly because desperate people often have to use deception to escape persecution.
The vetting process has become infused with a climate of suspicion that not only assesses the credibility of an applicant's story and differentiates between the economic migrant and the person fleeing persecution, but also attempts to determine whether an applicant represents a future threat to the receiving country. This innovative text approaches the problem of deception from several angles, including increased demand for evidence, uses of new technologies to examine applicants' narratives, assessments of forged documents, attempts to differentiate between victims and persecutors, and ways that cultural misunderstandings can compromise the process. Essential reading for researchers and students of Political Science, International Studies, Refugee and Migration Studies, Human Rights, Anthropology, Sociology, Law, Public Policy, and Narrative Studies.