As compared to nineteenth-century practice and doctrine, political asylum has undergone considerable change. It is no longer a peripheral issue, of im- portance only to the political combatant persevering abroad in the fight against the rulers of his horne country. Mass migrations, originating in wide- range political upheavals and multiplied by totalitarian persecution, have made asylum supplicants out of millions of people not actively engaged in politics. In the course of the past decades the job of sheltering and assimilating these masses frequently overtaxed the social, economic and administrative facilities of many a non-totalitarian country, making even democratic governments shy away from consistently applying the principleofunlimited asylum. This has added vital importance to the protection of exiles from being turned over to their persecutors. At a time when belonging to a specific social group, or being suspected of non-conformist leanings, turns the innocent bystander into a target of ruthless persecution, making hirn run for his life, narrow definitions of non- extraditable political offenses are apt to jeopardize the safety and the lives of many. Nineteenth-century legal doctrines, which stipulated a means-end relationship between incriminated actions and political objectives aimed at, have outlived their usefulness even to those governments whom in the oIden days they may have shielded from individual terror acts.