Before the Convention: The Spanish Civil War and Challenges for Research on Refugee History

Javier Rodrigo*, David Alegre Lorenz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article uses the tools of comparative history to address an important aspect of the Spanish Civil War: the fact that it generated waves of both internally displaced persons and cross-border refugees. Situating the conflict within the context of inter-war Europe, and particularly historical processes of deportation, forced migration, and exile, it analyses the challenges that the crisis of the war and subsequent post-war period in Spain introduced in the realm of humanitarian protection for displaced populations, and how existing international policies largely failed to protect those displaced by the conflict. Drawing on the Spanish Civil War example, the article shows how this kind of engagement with the history of refugees can produce insights that are useful for the broader body of scholarship on refugees, even for scholars who are not historians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-217
Number of pages22
JournalRefugee Survey Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • Refugee Convention
  • Spanish Civil War/post-war period
  • displacement
  • exile
  • refugees


Dive into the research topics of 'Before the Convention: The Spanish Civil War and Challenges for Research on Refugee History'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this