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  • Unlocking protracted displacement: an Iraqi case study

    20 November 2013

    The displaced from Iraq now constitute one of the largest refugee populations worldwide manifesting the evolving conditions of “protracted displacement”. Unlocking this protracted crisis of displacement requires analysis of the perceptions of solutions, durable and not-so-durable, among all stakeholders. This article focuses on the local-level perceptions of practitioners, policy-makers, and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. It is based on desk research and interviews in the field in April and May 2011. Our findings show that the three classical durable solutions are largely unworkable for the majority of Iraqis in exile in the Middle East. Their migration is often circular and involves movement in and out of Iraq as well as across wider transnational networks in the Middle East and further afield. There is a need for an analytical shift from transitory humanitarian (emergency) assistance to fostering inclusive local assistance and accommodation to cater to the large group of Iraqi refugees who are increasingly “stuck” in host countries of the Middle East. It is worth exploring the possibility of a multi-directional approach to unlocking this prolonged crisis that taps into legal, policy, and operational opportunities.

  • Palestinian refugees affected by the 2011 Libyan uprising: a brief overview

    20 November 2013

    This article provides a brief overview of Palestinians’ presence in Libya from the 1970s to the present, and of the multiple processes of displacement and expulsion faced by Palestinians during this period, culminating in the most recent 2011 conflict.

  • Conflicting missions? The politics of evangelical humanitarianism in the Sahrawi and Palestinian protracted refugee situations

    20 November 2013

    This paper analyses the contradictory motivations, actions and implications of a network of American Evangelical organizations which is actively involved in humanitarian and political projects directly affecting two groups of protracted refugees in the Middle East and North Africa: Sahrawis and Palestinians. Following a brief introduction to typologies and key characteristics of ‘faith-based’ and ‘Evangelical’ humanitarian organisations, this paper examines how, why and to what effect American Evangelical groups provide relief aid to Sahrawi refugees in their Algerian-based refugee camps, and vocally advocate in favour of the Sahrawi quest for self-determination over the Western Sahara before the US Congress and the United Nations. While this first mode of Evangelical humanitarian and political intervention explicitly invokes a human rights discourse and international legal frameworks, the second case-study underscores the ways in which these same actors effectively render Palestinian refugees invisible, implicitly negating international law and UN resolutions enshrining their right to return and the right to meaningful Palestinian self-determination. Ultimately, the paper addresses the implications of these contradictory Evangelical interventions through reference to international humanitarian principles, interrogating the proposed ‘humanitarian,’ ‘political’ and ‘religious’ dynamics in such initiatives.

  • Paradoxes of Sahrawi refugees' educational migration: promoting self-sufficiency or renewing dependency?

    20 November 2013

    Education is often prioritised by refugee children and families, as well as by their political representatives and international actors alike. This article explores the specificities of the Sahrawi refugee education system, focusing in particular on the nature, motivations and implications of Sahrawi refugee youths' educational migration to Cuba through a scholarship programme designed to promote self-sufficiency and socio-economic development in the Sahrawi refugee camps. Drawing upon interviews conducted with Cuban-educated Sahrawi refugees in Cuba and in their Algerian-based refugee camps I argue that, despite educational migration having become a central part of Sahrawi refugee children's, youths' and adults' imaginary landscapes, Sahrawi youths' educational migration to Cuba is ultimately paradoxical in nature, reshaping and reinforcing, rather than reducing, Sahrawi refugees' dependence upon Western aid providers.

  • Conceptualizing the land-conflict-restitution nexus: the case of Cyprus

    20 November 2013

    Resolving land and property issues lies at the crux of post-conflict reconstruction and peace building strategies. Construing it as a core element in Galtung’s conception of a “positive peace” sustained by co-operation between groups and nations [3], it sits alongside truth and reconciliation commissions and war crimes tribunals in the contemporary peace building canon. The Pinhiero Principle cited above define the two specific ways in which resolution may be achieved: restitution of land and property to people forcibly displaced by violence and war (and implicitly population return), or compensation for loss (where return is impossible). Yet the protracted nature of the Cyprus case – unresolved since the 1974 Turkish invasion and division of the island - and before that the example of Palestinian dispossession, reinforce the point that resolving land issues is also one of the most intractable challenges to peace building, and is rarely successfully accomplished even where there has been proactive engagement by international actors as has been the case in Bosnia-Herzogovina (BiH).

  • Unlocking the protracted displacement of refugees and internally displaced persons: an overview

    20 November 2013

    The protracted displacement of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) constitutes a pressing yet seemingly intractable challenge facing the international community. In countries where state fragility, conflict, and persecution have persisted for years, the majority of the world's refugees and internally displaced people live in conditions of protracted exile with little or no prospect of a durable solution to their predicament. Usually marginalised and often subject to the violation, or a lack of protection of human, economic, social, and cultural rights, well over half the world's 10 million refugees are currently to be found in protracted exile. Enduring conditions of internal displacement persist in over 40 countries including three (Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Sudan), each with over one million IDPs throughout the decade ending in 2010.

  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: autonomy and mandate change

    20 November 2013

    Book description: This exciting new text illustrates and advances the argument that International Organizations (IOs) need to be taken seriously as actors in world affairs. Bringing together an international line-up of distinguished contributors, the text examines recent theories that suggest how IOs are able to set their own policies and implement them in meaningful ways. The chapters review these theoretical positions and then present a series of case studies which focus on how these theories play out when IOs are charged with solving global problems: including development, peacekeeping and environmental policy coordination. Examining and analysing both positive and negative examples of this independence, this text is a valuable resource on the topic of the internal workings of IOs, providing the richest and most focused textbook so far dealing with the capacity of IOs for independent action in international politics. It is essential reading for all students of international organizations.

  • Rejecting authenticity in the desert landscapes of the modern Middle East: development processes in the Jiddat il-Harasiis

    20 November 2013

    Book description: This volume combines ethnographic accounts of fieldwork with overviews of recent anthropological literature about the region on topics such as Islam, gender, youth, and new media. It addresses contemporary debates about modernity, nation building, and the link between the ideology of power and the production of knowledge. Contributors include established and emerging scholars known for the depth and quality of their ethnographic writing and for their interventions in current theory.

  • Human rights activism and migration

    20 November 2013

    Book description: The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration provides a complete exploration of the prominent themes, events, and theoretical underpinnings of the movements of human populations from prehistory to the present day. It includes thematic interpretations and theories of migration, as well as the significant contemporary scientific discoveries and scholarly interpretations that have reshaped the way historians and social scientists analyze and map the past.

  • Human rights and forced migration

    20 November 2013

    Book description: Comprehensive human rights textbook which takes politics students beyond a legal approach to human rights, combining coverage of core approaches with detailed studies of key issues; Makes extensive use of case studies to illustrate key points and emphasize the practical and political dynamics of human rights; Takes a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing together contributions from political and social scientists, philosophers, lawyers, and policy experts; Ensures that students are up to date with cutting edge research in a constantly evolving field; Includes practical chapters and well-received pedagogical features.