August 23, 2018: RRN Research Digest

The RRN Research Digest provides a synopsis of recent research on refugee and forced migration issues from entities associated with the RRN and others.

You can download the digest in PDF format here: RRN Research Digest No. 47

Recent Publications and New Research

Twigt, Mirjam A. (2018) The mediation of hope: Digital Technologies and affective affordances within Iraqi refugee households in Jordan. Social Media and Society Jan – Mar 1-14.

 The author of this article draws on ethnographic fieldwork conducted among Iraqi refugees in Jordan’s capital Amman to further understand their use of digital technologies in everyday experiences of prolonged displacement. The author argues that “affective affordances”—the potential of different media forms to bring about affects like hope and anxiety—enable Iraqi refugees to reorient themselves to particular places and people. The author has found that digital technologies serve as orientation devices that enable the refugees to imagine futures elsewhere when faced with no hope of a future in Jordan. The paper concludes that transnational digital connections may be crucial to making Iraqi refugee life in Jordan bearable. This paper is part of a special collection titled “Forced migration and digital connectivity in(to) Europe”. An open access version of this article is available here:

Albahari, Maurizio (2018) From Right to Permission: Asylum, Mediterranean Migrations, and Europe’s War on Smuggling. Center for Migration Studies

This article argues that the European Union and its member states have transformed what has been understood as the right to asylum into what is now merely a state-granted permission. Efforts to curb unauthorized maritime migrant arrivals through a security-focused plan of action that includes deterrence, surveillance, border enforcement and policing motivated by containment policies have meant that paying smugglers has become the only viable way to seek refuge in Europe. The author furthermore provides evidence that state actors’ deployment of an anti-smuggling discourse has not significantly curbed maritime arrivals but has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. An open access version of this paper is available here:

Gilman, Denise and Luis A. Romero (2018) Immigration Detention, Inc. Center for Migration Studies.

This article draws the connection between economic inequality and U.S. system-wide immigration detention policy. The authors argue that the extensive use of detention in for-profit prisons by the US department of Homeland Security raises issues of economic power and powerlessness. The authors link the influence of wealthy private prison corporation to the expansion of detention in facilities that are akin to those offered by the private prison industry.

An open access version of the article is available here:

Lenner, Katharina and Lewis Turner (2018) Making Refugees Work? The Politics of Integrating Syrian refugees into the Labour Market in Jordan. Journal of Middle East Critique.

This article outlines how refugee response planners no longer frame Syrian refugees merely as objects of humanitarian care. Increasingly, they are portrayed as enterprising subjects, whose formal integration into labour markets can simultaneously create self-sufficient actors and cure the economic woes of host countries. This paper considers the Jordan Compact, a political commitment to integrate Syrian refugees into the formal Jordanian labour market. An open access version of this article is available here:

Carastathis, Anna, Natalie Kouri-Towe, Gada Mahrouse and Leila Whitley (2018) Introduction to Special Issue: Intersectional Feminist Interventions in the “Refugee Crisis.” Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees.

These authors argue that while scholars have paid attention to the declared global “refugee crisis”, there has been insufficient focus on the intersecting dynamics of oppression, discrimination, violence, and subjugation. In this article, they define feminist “intersectionality” as a research framework and a no-borders activist orientation in trans-national and anti-national solidarity with people displaced by war, capitalism, and reproductive heteronormativity, encountering militarized nation-state borders. They provide a survey of work in migration studies that engages with intersectionality as an analytic and offer a synopsis of the articles in the special issue they have curated. Open access versions of this article and the other papers included in this special issue are available here:

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Bose, Pablo and Lucas Grigri (2018) PR6: Refugee Resettlement Trends in the [US] West. Refugee Resettlement in Small Cities Reports. University of Vermont. May.

This report is the sixth in a series of six reports. This particular report examines refugee resettlement trends from FY2012-2016 for the West region of the United States. Historically, the Western U.S. has had extensive experience with migration, especially immigrants from Asia and Latin America. California is the state in this region – and in the entire U.S. – with the highest level of foreign-born people, though Arizona and Washington also have sizeable immigrant populations. Refugee resettlement now extends to other parts of this region that have had less experience with immigration in recent decades. The open-access report is available here:

Amnesty International (2018) Forced and Unlawful: Israel’s Deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese Asylum-seekers to Uganda. June 18.

According to Amnesty International’s report, since 2015 Israel has deported hundreds of Sudanese and Eritrean asylum-seekers to Uganda where they have encountered a chaotic reception that leaves them without protection or resources. Many flee to other African countries or Europe. This report argues that Israel is violating their rights under international law and is abdicating its responsibilities and shifting them to countries with fewer resources and larger refugee populations. This report is available here (open access):

International Organization for Migration/Samuel Hall (2017) Migrant Smuggling to Canada – An Enquiry into Vulnerability and Irregularity through Migrant Stories. IOM (Accra, Ghana.)

This study focuses on assessing migrant vulnerabilities, protection needs and exposure to exploitation before migration, during transit, and upon arrival. The researchers used qualitative research based on migrants’ experiences of irregular migration to Canada, with a focus on Afghan and Syrian migrants. They exam the factors that lead to irregular migration, why particular routes are chosen over others, conditions of the journey, methods of coercion used against smuggled migrants, the profile of the smuggled migrants, the perceptions of migrants regarding reception processes and legal frameworks available, as well as the role of social media in smuggling. The research involved interviewing the same people at several stages of their journey in order to assess the smuggling practices that migrants experience. The publication is available here (open access):

Multi-Agency Partnership – British Columbia (2018) Report and Action Plan resulting from the 10 May 2018 “A Forum Focused on Solutions:  Addressing the Urgent Shelter and Housing Needs of Refugee Claimants in BC.” July 10.

This Report and Action Plan is the outcome of a forum held in May 2018 that brought together over sixty community leaders, decision makers and refugee claimants to develop strategic actions to address the housing needs of refugee claimants in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. The report seeks to address a situation marked by low-vacancy rates and high housing costs that leave refugee claimants especially vulnerable. The report identifies several short-term and long-term actions to address this situation and underlines that a multi-stakeholder approach is needed to tackle the housing and resettlement needs of refugee claimants. The report is available here (open-access):

News and blog posts

Rehaag, Sean and Sharry Aiken (2018) Canada a world leader in preventing arrival of refugees. Toronto Star. May 25.

In this article, two renowned scholars say that the Canadian government’s announcement of its intention to apologize for Canada’s refusal to provide refuge to Jews fleeing the Nazis needs to be accompanied by a sincere commitment not to repeat the offence. They lament that in the present day Canada continues to do everything it can to prevent asylum seekers from reaching Canadian territory and that Canada has long been a world leader in developing and deploying tools to prevent such refugees from reaching Canada. The open-access article is available here:

Spagat, Elliot and Anita Snow (2018) New directive takes aim at immigrants fleeing gang violence. CTV News. June 16.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new directive declaring that gang and domestic violence will generally cease to be grounds for asylum. The Washington Office on Latin America expressed grave concern for those affected by the decision. The open-access article is available here:

FP Staff (2018) 2018 Career Diplomat of the Year Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein: Read the Transcript. Foreign Policy. June 14.

Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, received a diplomatic award and gave a short but compelling speech regarding how the world is going backwards towards strident zero-sum nationalism. He calls for activism motivated by vision, energy and generosity of spirit to address this dire situation. The speech is available here:

Lenette, Caroline (2018) Refugee women use their voices through digital storytelling. The Conversation. June 17.

This article reports on the author’s research with women who had arrived in Australia on ‘women-at-risk’ visas. The author explains that while the interviews were recorded, the videos are not publicly available as part of an ethical research approach that avoids appropriating other’s stories. In this article, the author tells some of the stories the women had given her permission to share. The open-access article is available here:

<< Back