Despite nearly 100 years of international organization and practice, international refugee law is confronted today with the critical challenges of globalization, securitization and an increasingly mobile world. Large-scale movements have exposed serious cracks in the European project; the EU's stated policy goal seems simply to keep refugees away. Elsewhere, numerous refugee situations are “protracted,” while persistent underdevelopment continues to drive the movement of people between States, in a context in which States appear unable to manage “irregular” migration. If a generous asylum policy is in practice, contingent on well-controlled external borders, can the basic rules of protection survive? Or are asylum and the principle of non-return to persecution (non-refoulement) at risk in a new international legal order? These are the issues addressed below.