The magnitude of refugees movements in the Third World, widely perceived as an unprecedented crisis, has generated widespread concern in the West. This concern reveals itself as an ambiguous mixture of heartfelt compassion for the plight of the unfortunates cast adrift and a diffuse fear that they will come "pouring in." In this comprehensive study, the authors examine the refugee flows originating in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and suggest how a better understanding of this phenomenon can be used by the international community to assist those in greatest need. Reviewing the history of refugee movements in the West, they show how their formation and the fate of endangered populations have also been shaped by the partisan objectives of receiving countries. They survey the kinds of social conflicts characteristic of different regions of the Third World and the ways refugees and refugee policy are made to serve broader political purposes.