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This article provides a critical examination of the current extensive promotion of ‘self-reliance’ for refugees. The existing scholarship largely ignores the unsuccessful historical record of international assistance to foster refugees’ self-reliance and fails to discuss its problematic linkages to neoliberalism and the notion of ‘dependency’. The article reveals that the current conceptualisation and practice of self-reliance are largely shaped by the priorities of international donors that aim to create cost-effective exit strategies from long-term refugee populations. The authors argue that where uncritically interpreted and applied, the promotion of self-reliance can result in unintended and undesirable consequences for refugees’ well-being and protection.

More information Original publication

DOI

10.1080/01436597.2018.1458301

Type

Journal article

Publisher

Taylor & Francis Online

Publication Date

28/04/2018

Total pages

17

Keywords

Migration and refugees, economy and finance, humanitarianism, livelihoods and sustainability, empowerment and absorptive capacity, self-reliance