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Men sitting in a circle to discuss a dispute outside at Kakuma camp © Capital Juba Studios
Trust in institutions and willingness to cooperate are important elements in many frameworks for social cohesion. Here, men gather to discuss a dispute among Nuer refugees at the Kakuma camp (Kenya), November, 2020.

Rupture and Reconciliation in Contexts of Displacement

Campion Hall and the Refugee Studies Centre present a seven-part seminar series on reconciliation in the contexts of displacement

This event approaches displacement through the theme of ‘rupture’. Policy definitions of ‘displacement’ often focus on physical dislocation and geographical journeys, and the term is used interchangeably with ‘forced migration’. Yet displacement is often characterised less by mobility than immobilization, with many stuck behind borders or in camps and detention centres. Rather than taking movement as the defining feature of displacement, this event focuses on ‘rupture’ of the relations that constitute a sense of place and belonging: between self and community, citizen and state, inhabitant and home. People are dispossessed of their lands, cut off from their livelihoods, and deprived of a sense of security and order.

In the face of such rupture, many organisations are implementing programmes focused on reconciliation. While reconciliation has long been recognized as a crucial aspect of voluntary return and repatriation for refugees, it has more recently become a priority in contexts of protracted displacement, where xenophobia and the politicization of migration can rupture the norms of hospitality and tolerance that make asylum possible.

This seminar series, hosted by Campion Hall and the Refugee Studies Centre, is proposed as an opportunity to discuss the possibilities for and challenges to ‘reconciliation’ in contexts of displacement. It will bring together academics as well as practitioners working in diverse contexts and according to different traditions to exchange insights and engage critically with the conceptual and practical dimensions of reconciliation. We intend to interrogate the historical roots of reconciliation interventions; to consider the different roles played by international, national, local, faith-based and refugee-run institutions, and to spotlight some of the unintended consequences of reconciliation work.

The seminars take place every Wednesday at 3pm - 4.30pm UK/GMT from 26 January to 9 March 2022.

Download the flyer (pdf)


26 January, Seminar 1 
Social Cohesion as a Humanitarian Objective?
Dr Cory Rodgers (Oxford University)

2 February, Seminar 2
Journeys towards Reconciliation: The JRS experience
Danielle Velle and Diana Rueda (JRS International)

9 February, Seminar 3
“They treat us as if we are of no importance:” Experiences of displacement, (in)justice and reconciliation across disaster, epidemic and war in Sierra Leone
Dr Mohamed Sesay (York University) and Professor Megan Bradley (McGill University)

16 February, Seminar 4
Learning in Segregation as Syrian Refugee Children in Jordan 
Dr Hiba Salem (Pedro Arrupe Research Fellow, Oxford University)

23 February, Seminar 5
Exposure to Violence and the Prospects for Reconciliation: Evidence from Syria and Iraq
Professor Kristin Fabbe (Harvard University)

2 March, Seminar 6
Reconciliation as Both Healing and Prevention: Mending ruptures within the self and between generations
Dr Katrien Hertog (IAHV) and Dr Elias Lopez (Comillas University)

9 March, Seminar 7
Land Tenure Registration in Situations of Protracted Displacement: Reconciling or dividing?
Professor Mathijs van Leeuwen (Radboud University)


The seminars are convened by Dr Cory Rodgers (Oxford) and Dr Elias Lopez (Comillas Pontifical University).


Register for one or more of the seminar sessions here.