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  • The global crisis of protracted displacement

    12 December 2013

    One of the most complex and difficult humanitarian problems confronting the international community today is that of protracted refugee situations. These are refugee situations that have moved beyond the emergency phase, but where solutions in the foreseeable future do not exist. Many of the refugees left behind in these situations have to live under terrible conditions, warehoused in camps or stuck in shanty towns, exposed to dangers, and with restrictions placed upon their rights and freedoms.

  • Disseminating findings from research with Palestinian children and adolescents

    12 December 2013

    For more than half a century Palestinian children and their care givers have lived a temporary existence in the dramatic and politically volatile landscape of the Middle East. These children have been captive to various sorts of stereotyping, both academic and popular. They have been projected, as have their parents and grandparents, as passive victims without the benefit of international protection. And they have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages based on the Western model of child development and the psychosocial approach to intervention. In January 1999, a research project examining the impact of prolonged forced migration and armed conflict on the lives of Palestinian children and young people was initiated in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. The project had several goals. One was to bridge the theoretical and applied divide common to much of the research directed at Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. Another was to test and challenge some of the Western medical and developmental assumptions concerning child and adolescent development. A third was to engage in multi-disciplinary, participatory research to draw out the similarities and differences between Palestinian refugee communities separated for more than 50 years by the national borders of different states.

  • Book Review: Fertile Bonds: Bedouin Class, Kinship, and Gender in the Bekaa Valley

    2 September 2014

    This monograph is a study in the field of demographic anthropology – for some, a sub-set of Medical Anthropology. It addresses themes of reproduction, fertility and their interface with the recent socio-historical context of French neo-colonialism and later marginalisation in the developing nation-state of Lebanon.

  • The Early Morning Phonecall: Somali Refugees' Remittances

    12 August 2014

    As migration from poverty-stricken and conflict-affected countries continues to hit the headlines, this book focuses on an important counter-flow: the money that people send home. Despite considerable research on the impact of migration and remittances in countries of origin - increasingly viewed as a source of development capital - still little is known about refugees’ remittances to conflict-affected countries because such funds are most often seen as a source of conflict finance. This book explores the dynamics, infrastructure, and far-reaching effects of remittances from the perspectives of people in the Somali regions and the diaspora. With conflict driving mass displacement, Somali society has become progressively transnational, its vigorous remittance economy reaching from the heart of the global North into wrecked cities, refugee camps, and remote rural areas. By ‘following the money’ the author opens a window on the everyday lives of people caught up in processes of conflict, migration, and development. The book demonstrates how, in the interstices of state disruption and globalisation, and in the shadow of violence and political uncertainty, life in the Somali regions goes on, subject to complex transnational forms of social, economic, and political innovation and change.

  • Education, migration and internationalism: situating Muslim Middle Eastern and North African students in Cuba

    12 December 2013

    Since the 1970s, thousands of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) students have been amongst the 40,000 recipients of a free education at universities and other further education institutions in Cuba. Drawing on interviews conducted with Muslim MENA university students in Cuba, including both citizens and refugees, I suggest that their legal statuses played central roles during their time in the Caribbean island, as well as structuring their expectations for the future. This article examines both Muslim youth experiences of, and Cuban motivations behind, an internationalist education programme that has been marginalised by both academics and policy-makers alike. Further, it explores and contextualises these students' perceptions of life in Cuba throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and of the conditions in their places of origin, which in many cases are refugee camps or hosting countries. In addition to offering these individuals a further education with an aim of enhancing self-sustainability in their ‘home’ countries/spaces, I propose that this programme is a clear alternative, and even a challenge, to the way in which the education of foreign students is structured and managed elsewhere by states and institutions driven by different socio-economic and political priorities.

  • Precarious residents: migration control, membership and the rights of non-citizens

    12 December 2013

    This paper examines the situation of a subgroup of non-citizens found in virtually all contemporary states, what I call “precarious residents”. Precarious residents can be defined as non-citizens living in the state that possess few social, political or economic rights, are highly vulnerable to deportation, and have little or no option for making secure their immigration status. The archetypal precarious resident is the undocumented (or unlawful) migrant. However, there are many other barely tolerated individuals who also fit the appellation, such as asylum seekers (including ones whose claims have been rejected), guest workers, and individuals with temporary protection from deportation. I begin this paper by exploring the nature of precarious residence, discussing its dimensions, causes and manifestations in different national contexts. I move then to consider the human development consequences of precarious residence before exploring the question of the responsibilities of states to protect the rights and, in some cases, recognize the membership claims of these non-citizens.

  • A universal mandate to protect: the challenge of refugee protection

    12 December 2013

    This article argues that UNHCR must preserve a careful balance between engaging in the political interests of its donors and allowing them to shape its agenda.