For those working at the coalface of the refugee and asylum system – whether supporting families, adults or separated children as they seek protection, or pressing the government for more asylum system reform, or trying to inform and influence the
How Public Opinion Got Ahead of Government in Summer 2015 and Stayed There
occupation of Austria in March, that transformed the escalating European refugee crisis into a catastrophe, and propelled Eleanor into a more vigorous campaign that focused on the welfare and rescue of refugees, especially Jews, in and from Nazi
Lessons from Collaborative Research on Sanctuary in the Changing Times of Trump
Sara Vannini, Ricardo Gomez, Megan Carney and Katharyne Mitchell
We came together as a group of scholars interested in migration, refugees, and sanctuary studies from a variety of theoretical, methodological, and personal experiences. Despite our disciplinary differences (we were affiliated with departments of
Research Ethics in the Context of Resettlement in South America
Marcia Vera Espinoza
Refugees are the main experts on their own experiences of displacement. They constantly challenge academic research practice and ethical guidelines, as their own lives are under study. This article shares some reflections from research with Colombian and Palestinian resettled refugees in Chile and Brazil, shedding light on refugees’ agency in determining what constitutes safe and ethical research practices.
“Studying Up” the Global Division of Labor and Mobility in the Humanitarian Industry in Jordan
In migration studies, humanitarian work and workers are studied as benefactors or managers of migrants and refugees. This article inverts the gaze from “researching down” refugees to “studying up” the humanitarian structure that governs them. The article studies how the humanitarian industry ballooned after the Syrian refugee response in Jordan due to the influx of expatriate humanitarians as economic migrants from the global North to refugee situations in the host country in the global South. It examines the global division of mobility and labor among expatriate, local, and refugee humanitarian workers, investigating the correlation between geographic (horizontal) mobility and social/professional (vertical) mobility, demonstrating that the social and professional mobility of workers depends on their ability to access geographic mobility. Thus, rather than advocating for and facilitating global mobility, the humanitarian industry maintains a colonial division of labor and mobility. This raises the question: who benefits most from humanitarian assistance?
Managing Belonging, Bodies, and Mobility in (Post)Colonial Kenya and Tanzania
Hanno Brankamp and Patricia Daley
This article examines the ways in which both colonial and postcolonial migration regimes in Kenya and Tanzania have reproduced forms of differential governance toward the mobilities of particular African bodies. While there has been a growing interest in the institutional discrimination and “othering” of migrants in or in transit to Europe, comparable dynamics in the global South have received less scholarly attention. The article traces the enduring governmental differentiation, racialization, and management of labor migrants and refugees in Kenya and Tanzania. It argues that analyses of contemporary policies of migration management are incomplete without a structured appreciation of the historical trajectories of migration control, which are inseparably linked to notions of coloniality and related constructions of (un)profitable African bodies. It concludes by recognizing the limits of controlling Africans on the move and points toward the inevitable emergence of social conditions in which conviviality and potentiality prevail.
Ideology, Morality, and Praxis
A prominent aspect of the Jewish-Arab conflict over Palestine has been the Palestinian ‘catastrophe’ or ‘Nakba’—the displacement of some 750,000 Palestinians during Israel’s War of Independence. David Ben-Gurion, the Yishuv’s pre-state leader and Israel’s first prime minister, was an influential figure in this process. This article investigates Ben-Gurion’s attitude toward the Palestinian refugee problem, highlighting its dynamic nature and its linkage to military developments. Contrary to the conclusions of previous research, only after the Arab states’ invasion and the war’s expansion in late May and early June 1948 did Ben-Gurion decide to oppose the refugees’ return. Undeterred by his own ethical misgivings and international efforts to secure repatriation, his view was reinforced over time, as Israel’s victories on the battlefield became unequivocal.
Nof Nasser-Eddin and Nour Abu-Assab in Conversation
Nof Nasser-Eddin and Nour Abu-Assab
In this conversation, Nof Nasser Eddin and Nour Abu-Assab—the founders and directors of the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration (CTDC)—discuss the importance of decolonial approaches to studying refugee migration. In so doing, they draw on their research, consultancy, and advocacy work at CTDC, a London-based intersectional multidisciplinary Feminist Consultancy that focuses in particular on dynamics in Arabic-speaking countries and that has a goal to build communities and movements, through an approach that is both academic and grassroots-centred. CTDC attempts to bridge the gap between theory and practice through its innovative-ly transformative programmes, which include mentorship, educational programmes, trainings, and research.
Nof and Nour’s conversation took place in November 2019 and was structured by questions sent to them in advance by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh. What follows is a transcript of the conversation edited by Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Mette L. Berg.
Heather Wurtz and Olivia Wilkinson
Power dynamics of global decision-making have meant that local faith actors have not been frequently heard in the context of refugee response. The development of new global refugee and humanitarian frameworks gives hope that there will be greater inclusion of Southern-led, faith-based responses. A closer look, however, demonstrates discrepancies between the frameworks used in global policy processes and the realities of local faith actors in providing refugee assistance. We present primary research from distinct case studies in Mexico and Honduras, which counters much of what is assumed about local faith actors in refugee services and aid. Interventions that are considered to be examples of good practice in the global South are not always congruent with those conceptualized as good practices by the international community. Failure to recognize and integrate approaches and practices from the global South, including those led by actors inspired by faith, will ultimately continue to replicate dominant global power structures.
A View from Brazil and Latin America
Liliana L. Jubilut
This article reflects on the roles that universities from Brazil and Latin America can play in the protection of refugees and other migrants in the context of a debate of “recentering” the Global South in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. To that end, it draws on teaching, research, and outreach initiatives as well as general reflections on the topic, and presents examples from Brazil and Latin America.