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The Refugee Studies Centre’s 30th Anniversary Conference will take place on 6-7 December 2012, focusing on the theme ‘Understanding Global Refugee Policy’

This conference aims to examine and theorise the policy-making processes relating to refugees and forced migration at the global level. Critical reflection upon the processes through which global public policy on refugees, internally displaced persons, statelessness, human trafficking, and other areas of forced migration is made is intended to offer new and valuable insights for scholars, policy makers and practitioners.

This conference therefore provides a forum for a critical discussion on ‘Understanding Global Refugee Policy’ by bringing together academics, policy makers, practitioners, advocates and displaced people to engage in a debate on how we might begin to make sense of and conceptualise the global refugee policy process. It seeks to explore the nature, content and implications of ‘global refugee policy’ with questions such as: What is ‘global refugee policy’? How can we theorise global refugee policy? What factors explain variation both in the motivations for policies, and in outcomes? To what extent do the diverse interests and priorities of key stakeholders shape global refugee policy, and to what effect?

The conference invites contributions that explore any aspect of the policy-making process: emergence, negotiation, development, implementation, and outcomes, examining global policy at the multilateral, regional, bilateral, or transnational levels. It invites reflections from politics, law, history, anthropology, and sociology, and seeks to involve contributors with case specific studies in addition to those with a broad focus on regional, bilateral, international and global policy-making processes. Papers might fall within one or more of the following categories:

  1. Reflections – In order to lay the foundations for a critical academic understanding of global refugee policy processes, the conference invites reflection pieces on the experience of working on or within regional, bilateral, international and global refugee policy. Such reflections may explore the intersection between and across these different levels of policy making and implementation.
  2. Case Studies – Papers might revisit important ‘moments’ or processes in which attempts to develop global refugee or forced migration policies have emerged, such as in relation to the Global Consultations, CIREFCA, the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, Australia’s “Pacific Solution”, the EU Asylum Qualification Directive, or the role of international actors in influencing national refugee legislation, for example.
  3. Theories of Process – Papers might focus on conceptualising, theorising and critiquing aspects of the policy process in particular areas of refugee or forced migration policy. They may seek to explain variation in outcomes or they may aim to conceptualise how power, interests and ideas shape policy and its relationship to practice, or to examine how particular actors play particular roles in different stages of the policy process.

Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be submitted to: Heidi El-Megrisi: by 1 July 2012 at the latest.

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