Category Archives: Resources Digest for March 3, 2017

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Elizabeth Lunstrum
York University, Geography, Faculty Member
Environmental displacement: the common ground of climate change, extraction and conservation (with co-authors Anna Zalik, York University and Pablo Bose, University of Vermont)

In this introduction to a special section on environmental displacement, we introduce the concept and  ground it in seemingly distinct processes of climate change,extraction,and conservation.We understand environmental displacement as a process by which communities find the land they occupy irrevocably altered in ways that foreclose or otherwise impede possibilities for habitation or else disrupt access to resources within these spaces of life, work and socio-cultural reproduction. Such dislocation amounts to environmental displacement on the grounds that it is justified by environmental or ecological rationales,motivated by desires to access natural resources, or else provoked by human-induced environmental change and attempts to address it. Building from here, we make the case for why climate change and efforts to mitigate and adapt to it, extractive industries, and conservation initiatives should be analysed together as displacement inducing phenomena,as they are empirically connected in consequential ways and materialise from similar logics. We additionally lay out the contributions of the individual articles of the special issue and draw connections across them to help provide a preliminary framework for thinking through environmental displacement, including its causes, logics, and consequences, especially for vulnerable populations.

Jeffrey Cohen
Ohio State University, Anthropology, Faculty Member
Syrian refugees ‘detrimental’ to Americans? The numbers tell a different story

In light of the president’s executive order and the continued debate over the status of refugees in the U.S., I’d like to reexamine two questions: What are the chances that a Syrian refugee might live in your community? And what is the risk that he or she would be a terrorist?

 Martin Shuster
Goucher College, Philosophy and Religion, Faculty Member
A Phenomenology of Home: Jean Améry on Homesickness

As the contemporary nation state order continues to produce genocide and destruction,  and thereby refugees, and as the national and international landscape continues to see the existence of refugees as a political problem, Jean Améry’s 1966 essay “How Much Home Does a Person Need?” takes on a curious urgency. I say ‘curious’ because his own conclusions about the essay’s aims and accomplishments appear uncertain and oftentimes unclear (note how Améry himself surprisingly suggests that his remarks will have “little general validity” – a statement that will need to be properly situated).

Università di Pisa, Scienze Politiche, Faculty Member
Dublin ‘reloaded’ or time for ambitious pragmatism?

A critical evalutation of the proposal for a Dublin IV Regulation, presented by the Commission in May 2016.

Lyndsey Stonebridge
University of East Anglia, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty Member
Textual Practice Statelessness and the poetry of the borderline

Every conflict brings its refugees, but the wars of the twentieth century pro-duced population movements on a new scale. The peace of these wars was almost as bad as the fighting: for every border re-drawn, every treaty signed, millions shifted. They shift still. Traumatic testimony has long been the life-writing genre of choice for those wanting to give voice to the dispossessed. But can trauma really capture the complexity of this territorial violence? There are many ways of moving across a border, or, as is the case for millions today, living on a border.
Luisa Marin

University of Twente, Public Administration, Faculty Member
The EU’s approach to the current refugee crisis, between strengthening of external borders and the slow emergence of solidarity

The EU’s approach to the so-called ‘refugee crises’, and more in general to the governance of irregular migration, is one of most politically debated and challenging domains of the EU. This chapter deals with EU’s response to the crisis on the basis of the EU’s Agenda on Migration of 13 May 2015 and its implementation. It will map the evolutions of the different policies in questions and their main legal innovations: which ideas and solutions have been developed in order to manage a phenomenon whose morphology has radically changed in the past couple of years?

Ulrich Schmiedel
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Evangelisch-theologische Fakultät, Faculty Member
Mourning the Un-Mournable? Political Theology between Refugees and Religion, Political Theology 2017, 1-17.

Since the arrival, or the attempted arrival, of millions of refugees in Europe, the performances of the Center for Political Beauty – a Berlin-based collective of artists and activists – have had a huge impact on public and political debates about Germany’s migration policies. In this paper, I analyze the performance “The Dead Are Coming” in which the artists buried refugees who drowned in their attempt to enter the European Union. Drawing on Judith Butler’s political philosophy of performativity, I assess “The Dead Are Coming” as a “doing” rather than a “describing” of dignity.

Kelly Oliver
Vanderbilt University, Philosophy, Faculty Member
CARCERAL HUMANITARIANISM: Logics of Refugee Detention

Humanitarian aid is both the “cure” and the “poison.” It’s the cure insofar as right now it is only chance we’ve got for helping refugees under current immigration and asylum policies of most nation states. That is to say, until we move beyond nation states and their alibi of humanitarian aid, groups such as Doctors without Borders and The Red Cross are absolutely necessary, and their volunteers and aid workers are praiseworthy. Yet, as long as we hold onto the alibi of humanitarian aid, a more properly political solution will not be forthcoming.

Rebecca Nedostup
Brown University, History, Faculty Member

The burial of war dead was a key element of displacement and community formation during wartime and postwar China and Taiwan, 1937–1955. Reckoning with the physical burial and spiritual pacification of civilian as well as military dead posed practical and epistemological problems for the tens of millions forced to migrate amid shifting political and military boundaries. Various populations of living and dead refugees became increasingly politicized on the national and international levels, affecting local rituals and family burials.

The Syrian Work Permit Initiative in Jordan – Implications for Policy and Practice

A new research and policy project published jointly between the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan, and the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies that explores the rollout of this innovative policy response to a protracted and urban refugee situation one year after its inception.

The report delivers a snapshot of the current economic, legal, and institutional environment surrounding the work permit initiative for Syrian refugees in Jordan, and identifies obstacles to its implementation. Jordan’s rollout of work permits for refugees is a unique experience in terms of solutions put forward by a refugee host country. It provides a concrete example of how host countries and humanitarian actors can attempt to bridge the gap between humanitarian responses to refugee crises, and long-term development support for host countries and refugee communities.

The full report can be accessed at the following link:

New Publication: Voting Rights of Refugees


Dr. Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler | Lecturer in Law
Programme Director, LLM in Human Rights, International Law, and Advanced Legal Studies
School of Law, University of Reading

  • Voting Rights of Refugees develops a novel legal argument about the voting rights of refugees recognised in the 1951 Geneva Convention. The main normative contention is that such refugees should have the right to vote in the political community where they reside, assuming that this community is a democracy and that its citizens have the right to vote. The book argues that recognised refugees are a special category of non-citizen residents: they are unable to participate in elections of their state of origin, do not enjoy its diplomatic protection and consular assistance abroad, and are unable or unwilling, owing to a well-founded fear of persecution, to return to it. Refugees deserve to have a place in the world, in the Arendtian sense, where their opinions are significant and their actions are effective. Their state of asylum is the only community in which there is any prospect of political participation on their part.
    • Brings together elements of the political theory and refugee law discourses by conceptualising the legal and political predicament of recognised refugees as non-citizens in their state of asylum
    • Will be a valuable source for refugee and international law scholars seeking to explore questions of out-of-country voting, protection abroad, expulsion of non-citizens and voting rights jurisprudence
    • Contributes to the discourse concerning the interrelations between citizenship and the right to vote

The book can be ordered online at:

Recent Policy Briefs Submitted to the Government of Canada

Recently, members of the Refugee Research Network were able to meet with representatives of the Government of Canada and submit policy briefs to inform discussion on the following themes, and their implications for Canadian policies and practices.

Age & Generation in Canada’s Migration Law, Policy, & Programming, by Christina Clark-Kazak, York University

The Humanitarian-Development Nexus: Opportunities for Canadian Leadership, by Kevin Dunbar, CARE Canada & James Milner, Carleton University

Environmental Displacement and Environmental Migration: Blurred Boundaries Require Integrated Policies, by Michaela Hynie, York University; Prateep Nayak, University of Waterloo, Teresa Gomes & Ifrah Abdillah, University of Toronto

The State of Private Refugee Sponsorship in Canada: Trends, Issues, and Impacts by Jennifer Hyndman, William Payne and Shauna Jimenez, York University

Refugee Review: Re-conceptualizing Forced Migration & Refugees in the 21st Century

We proudly introduce the second volume of Refugee Review: Re-conceptualizing Forced Migration & Refugees in the 21st Century, the open access, multidisciplinary, multimedia, and peer-reviewed journal of the ESPMI Network. We are delighted to be able to share with you another rich edition of varied and challenging articles, opinion pieces, practitioner reports, discussions, and interviews from emerging scholars and practitioners around the world.

To access the web-version of the journal, please click here.

To download a hyper-linked PDF, please click here.

We are pleased to pass this on to you all, and hope that you will disseminate this widely, through listservs, your universities, organizations, colleagues, and anyone else that you think may benefit from the publication.

Please stay in touch regarding future initiatives!

All the very best,
Petra Molnar and Brittany Wheeler
Co-Coordinators, ESPMI Network

You can find us on the web at: or email us at Follow us on Twitte@ESPMINetwork.

The ESPMI Network would like to thank the Refugee Research Network for their support of this initiative.