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  • Asylum and the expansion of deportation in the United Kingdom

    13 December 2013

    Deportation has traditionally been seen as a secondary instrument of migration control, one used by liberal democratic states relatively infrequently and with some trepidation. This secondary status has been assured by the fact that deportation is both a complicated and a controversial power. It is complicated because tracking individuals down and returning them home are time-consuming and resource-intense activities; it is controversial because deportation is a cruel power, one that sometimes seems incompatible with respect for human rights. In the light of these constraints, how can one explain the fact that since 2000 the United Kingdom has radically increased the number of failed asylum seekers deported from its territory? I argue in the article that this increase has been achieved through a conscious and careful process of policy innovation that has enabled state officials to engage in large-scale expulsions without directly violating liberal norms.

  • Engineered regionalism, forced migration, and the distribution of refugees

    13 December 2013

    Book description: Taking the context of forced migration, this book addresses the role that regional, in contrast to national or global, institutions and relationships play in shaping asylum policies and procedures. It examines the causes of forced migration movements; the direction of forced migration flows and its effect upon the immediate region; policy responses towards forced migration (in particular ASEAN and the European Community); cooperative arrangements and agreements between regional states; and the protection of human rights. The book also considers the role that regional responses are likely to play in determining the direction of asylum policy in receiving states and procedures in the future.

  • Who should be included? Non-citizens, conflict and the constitution of the citizenry

    13 December 2013

    Recognising the way that political systems’ failure to accommodate ethnic diversity can increase the likelihood of violent conflict, political scientists have in recent years expended much energy debating the character of appropriate political institutions for divided societies. However, a key limitation of these debates is that they have focused solely on the question of how best to represent an established (if often severely divided) citizenry (whether, for example, to represent citizens as members of ethnic groups, geographical regions, or as individuals). Consequently, the question of how the citizenry itself is constituted has largely been ignored. In this article, I aim to show why those who desire to avoid the tyranny of the ethnic majority – the dominance of one ethnic group over others – also have reason to concern themselves with the possibility of a tyranny of the citizenry – the illegitimate rule of the formal members of a society over those lacking in membership. I argue that how citizenship is distributed (who has access to it and who is excluded) in a society may be an important factor in explaining the existence of horizontal inequalities (understood as economic, social and political inequalities between groups in a society) and in their reproduction over time. The distribution of citizenship is thus likely to impact upon societal stability and the likelihood of conflict. Drawing in part upon empirical examples, I consider how people, both as individuals and as members of ethnic groups, become non-citizens and the factors that may force them to remain so over time in the country in which they reside. In Section 5, I explain why it is important for those interested in horizontal inequalities to consider how the issue of citizenship is distributed across a society and particularly across ethnic groups. In the final section of this paper, I reflect upon the vexed question of what it means to distribute citizenship fairly. Throughout this examination my focus is on formal, legal citizenship and the rights associated with it.

  • Deportation and the liberal state: the forcible return of asylum seekers and unlawful migrants in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom

    13 December 2013

    This article is based on interviews with government officials, UNHCR staff and members of the NGO community in Bonn (2 February 1999), Ottawa (5–8 December 2000), Berlin (2 February and 24 May 2001) and [with British officials] Oxford (3 May 2001). Earlier versions were presented at the International Studies Association’s Annual meeting, Chicago, 23 February 2001, at the Council of European Studies Biannual meeting, Chicago, 14 February 2002 and at the Catholic University of Brussels, Institute of Political Sociology and Methodology’s seminar series, Brussels, 11 April 2002. We are grateful to participants for comments. The research was assisted by a grant from the Canadian Department of International Affairs and International Trade in association with the Foundation for Canadian Studies in the UK.

  • South-South Educational Migration, Humanitarianism and Development: Views from Cuba, North Africa and the Middle East

    10 February 2014

    This is the first book to analyze the important phenomenon of South-South development initiatives. Drawing on critical theories and insights from intersectional analysis, the book examines the experiences and impacts of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) youth’s participation in South-South higher education programmes designed to maximise “self-sufficiency”. As one of a range of South-South scholarship programmes, the book focuses in particular on Cuba’s scholarship system which has offered a free secondary and tertiary education to over 50,000 students from 120 countries since the 1960s. This case-study is explored through multi-sited and multi-lingual research conducted with MENA citizens and refugees during their studies in Cuba and following their return to their places of origin (including both desert-based and urban refugee camps). The book also features primary research about refugees’ participation in the Libyan and Syrian Pan-Arabist education programme, providing the foundation for a comparative examination of the significance of individual and collective identities in access to South-South scholarship programmes, and the diverse challenges and opportunities arising from participation. In addition to analysing MENA students’ experiences of studying in Cuba, Libya and Syria and of returning to their refugee camp homes and countries of origin, the book critically assesses the impact of diverse policies designed to maximise “self-sufficiency,” and to reduce both “brain drain” and ongoing dependency upon Northern aid providers. It therefore explores the extent to which South-South scholarship systems such as the Cuban programme have challenged the power imbalances which typically characterise North to South development models. This book is a significant resource for students, researchers and practitioners in the areas of migration studies, refugee studies, comparative education, development and humanitarian studies, international relations, and regional studies (Latin America, Middle East, and North Africa).

  • Realising the right to family reunification of refugees in Europe

    19 June 2017

    This issue paper examines family reunification for refugees as a pressing human rights issue. Without it, refugees are denied their right to respect for family life, have vastly diminished integration prospects and endure great additional unnecessary suffering, as do their family members. The Commissioner for Human Rights calls on all Council of Europe member states to uphold their human rights obligations and ensure the practical effectiveness of the right to family reunification for refugees and other international protection beneficiaries. To do so, states should (re-)examine their laws, policies and practices relating to family reunification for refugees. This issue paper contains 36 recommendations to that end.

  • Forced migration in the ‘First World’: questioning the logics of a humanitarian concept

    2 December 2015

    This paper uses the example of post-Olympics displacement in East London to challenge the boundaries of forced migration, and to question assumptions about where forced migration happens. The case of displacement in East London is helpful precisely because it lies on the margins of the forced migration concept. Testing forced migration at its limits allows for an interrogation of the assumptions that lie at its core. The following questions guide this exploration at the margins: How might the ideological underpinnings of the current category of forced migration exclude displacement in wealthy, developed countries from analysis? What does the exclusion of displacement in such contexts say about the nature of the forced migration category, about its implicit power relations and dynamics? How does the case of development and displacement in East London challenge the forced migration concept, and call for an evaluation of its underlying logic? Through exploring these questions, this paper puts forward two primary arguments. First, I argue that the forced migration concept is founded on an implicit humanitarian logic. Second, I argue that, if scholars are to truly consider the power implicit in locating forced migration elsewhere, it is necessary to both turn away from an apolitical humanitarian logic and to ‘invert the gaze’ by also examining displacement as it happens in the ‘West’. This paper thus serves as an initial call to critically reflect on forced migration’s underlying humanitarian logic—to consider, for instance, why displacement and dispossession are almost exclusively assumed to occur ‘elsewhere’ and the potential power implications this geography of forced migration might hold. Rather than seek definitive conclusions on causal links between development and displacement in East London, I conduct an exploratory and descriptive study that will raise questions for further research.

  • “But if Locals are Poorer than you, How would you Justify Additional Help?”: Rethinking the Purpose of Sensitive Interview Questions

    30 July 2018

    Abstract: Drawing upon interviews with Eritrean refugees in Uganda in late 2016, this article documents their responses to the question of how to justify support to refugees in contexts where similar assistance is not provided to nationals. It thus aims to add the perspective of displaced persons to a debate largely populated by the words of host communities, governments and humanitarian organisations, and various pro-immigration lobby groups. Given the sensitivity of this question, however, this article also provides an extensive justification as to why this angle of enquiry was pursued. To do so, it argues that asking potentially “difficult” questions during certain interviews can help pluralise how we represent “refugees’ voices”, convey the multi-facetedness of an individual’s identity and agency, including that of the researcher, and signal a move away from methodologies that inadvertently victimise.

  • Special Issue: Refugee and Diaspora Memories

    3 January 2014

    This special issue opens up a conversation between three multidisciplinary fields: memory studies, diaspora studies and refugee studies. The introductory paper articulates an analytical framework addressing various forms of memories of displacement. It defines the concepts of exilic and diasporic memories with regard to the classical and post-modern conceptions of diasporas and shows, beyond their formal opposition, the extent to which these two notions interrelate. The article continues by highlighting four themes that cut across the collection of papers in this special issue: the relationship between individual and collective memories; the diversity of actors (re)producing memory narratives; the transmission, negotiation and contestation of memory across space and between generations; and the confrontational and syncretic dynamics which between different types of memories. To conclude, the paper addresses the political implications of the production and dissemination of memories of displacement.

  • News & Media

    1 January 2012

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    1 January 2012

    The RSC carries out multidisciplinary, policy-relevant research on the causes and consequences of forced migration, with an emphasis on understanding the experiences of forced migration from the point of view of affected peoples.

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    1 January 2012

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    5 September 2017

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    15 May 2018

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    12 February 2017

  • Study With Us

    29 July 2013

    The RSC offers academically rigorous, multidisciplinary teaching that attracts the finest students and practitioners from around the world. Our degree and non-degree courses have two distinct aims: to further academic understanding of forced migration by training future researchers and teachers; and to cultivate the ‘reflective practitioner’ by enabling practitioners to engage with key debates and situate displacement in a broad historical and international context.

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    1 June 2018

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    26 September 2014