There are currently estimated to be over 15 million refugees in the world. Recent conflicts, notably in the former Soviet Union, Liberia and Iraq, have further contributed to a crisis of global proportions. This book provides an academic perspective on the geopolitical, economic and social consequences of forced migration, drawing out key global themes and illustrating them with empirical and comparative material. The book is divided into three sections, dealing in turn with the background to the refugee crisis; its effects in the countries of first asylum, predominantly in the poorer countries of the South; and the new challenges facing governments and migrants in the richer countries of the North. A final chapter assesses prospects for future research on refugees by geographers and social scientists and its rising significance for economic development and social welfare in both rich and poor nations.