January 17, 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. 30

Recent Publications and New Research

New book: Heaven Crawley, Franck Duvell, Katharine Jones, Simon McMahon and Nando Sigona (2018). Unravelling Europe’s Migration Crisis: Journeys Over Land and Sea. Policy Press.

Drawing on compelling first-hand accounts from 500 people who arrived on the shores of Europe in 2015, this book unpacks their routes, experiences and decisions. It provides a framework for understanding the dynamics underpinning recent unprecedented levels of migration across, and loss of life in, the Mediterranean, casting new light on the ‘migration crisis’ and challenging politicians, policy makers and the media to rethink their understanding of why and how people move. More information available at: https://policypress.co.uk/unravelling-europes-migration-crisis , also some excerpts available at: https://books.google.ca/

Caitlin Nunn, Sandra M. Gifford, Celia McMichael, and Ignacio Correa-Velez (2017). Navigating precarious terrains: reconceptualising refugee youth settlement. Refuge: Canada’s journal on refugees. 33, no. 2, 45-55.

This article draws upon the concept of social navigation to reconceptualise settlement as a continuation of a journey in which refugee settlers must continually seek new strategies to pursue viable futures. It illustrates with an in-depth case study of the settlement journey of one refugee-background young man over his first eight years in Melbourne, Australia. Available at:


Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society:  Vol. 6 No. 1 (2017)

This is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, online Open Access journal committed to supporting and advancing decolonization scholarship, practice, and activism within and, more importantly, beyond and against, the academy. Vol 6, No 1 (2017) is on the Palestinian question. While it doesn’t address migration issues directly it touches on some central themes such as decolonization, and settler colonialism. Available at:  http://www.decolonization.org/index.php/des/issue/view/1919/showToc

Reports, Working Papers and Briefs

Local Politics and the Syrian Refugee Crisis Exploring Responses in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan by Alexander Betts, Ali Ali, and Fulya Memişoğlu

This report details the findings of the authors’ research project “The Politics of the Syrian Refugee Crisis”. They argue that in order to explain responses to Syrian refugees, it is important to understand politics within the major host countries. This involves looking beyond the capital cities to examine variation in responses at the local level. Available at: https://www.rsc.ox.ac.uk/files/files-1/local-politics-and-syrian-refugee-crisis_report-web.pdf

Addressing Forced Displacement through Development Planning and Co-operation Guidance for Donor Policy Makers and Practitioners, OECD Development Policy Tools series (Nov. 2017)

This guidance proposal provides a clear and practical introduction to the challenges faced in working in situations of forced displacement, and provides guidance to donor staff seeking to mainstream responses to forced displacement into development planning and co-operation. While recognising that donor policies and responses are constantly evolving, this guidance proposes that donors responding to these situations prioritise three broad areas of work, where they can best contribute to existing capacities at the national, regional and global levels. It also identifies twelve actions, grouped under four key principles, outlining what donors can do to reinforce the capacities of key actors to respond to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons at the national, regional and global levels, and to advance comprehensive solutions. Available at: http://www.oecd.org/dac/Addressing_Forced_Displacement_Brochure_2017.pdf

Internally displaced persons and international humanitarian law – Factsheet by ICRC

International Humanitarian law (IHL) contains important provisions to prevent the displacement of civilians and the suffering it causes from occurring in the first place. It also aims to ensure that, when displacement does take place, internally displaced persons are protected and provided with assistance at all stages of their displacement. Without greater respect for IHL and more vigorous efforts to protect the civilian population during armed conflict, global displacement figures will continue to grow. This factsheet answers questions such as the definition of IDPs, and how does IHL protects them. Available at:


News Reports and Blogs

How women migrant workers defy ‘social control’ with everyday resistance by Kimaya de Silva

Women migrant workers face extreme forms of social control in Saudi Arabia. One Sri Lankan woman shares her story of everyday resistance despite serious constraints. Available at: 


 The Case for Getting Rid of Borders—Completely, by Alex Tabarrok

The author makes the argument for the freedom of movement as a human right and argues that removing borders is not just moral but also economic. Available at:


The Top Refugee Issues to Watch in 2018 by Charlotte Alfred

This article compiles some major issues and milestones to look out for in 2018, and asked refugee and migration experts to weigh in on what they’re watching for this year. available at:


Digital and social media

 Seminar: Belgian refugees between ‘war’ and ‘peace’: trauma, transition and repatriation by Dr Hannah Ewence

Dr. Hannah Ewence is a modern historian specialising in comparative minority studies, and the history of race, immigration and gender in fin de siècle, twentieth century and contemporary Britain.  Her seminar is available in audio format at: https://soundcloud.com/refugeestudiescentre/belgian-refugees-between-war-and-peace-trauma-transition-and-repatriation-dr-hannah-ewence

Interactive Map – Alternatives to Detention

Over the past five years, the IDC has undertaken a program of research to identify and describe a number of positive alternatives to immigration detention (‘alternatives’) that respect fundamental rights, are less expensive and are equally or more effective than traditional border controls. They have identified over 250 examples of alternatives from 60 countries, Available in an interactive format as well as a report at: https://idcoalition.org/interactive-map-alternatives-to-detention/

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