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. 46
Recent Publications and New Research
Leurs, Koen and Kevin Smets (2018) Five questions for digital migration studies: Learning from digital connectivity and forced migration in(to) Europe. Social Media and Society Jan-Mar: 1-16.
This article provides an introductory framework for a special collection on forced migration and digital connectivity in the context of Europe. The authors contend that digital migration – which they define as the relation between migration and digital media technologies – has emerged as a contentious topic during the so-called “refugee crisis” in Europe. The authors reflect on the main conceptual, methodological and ethical challenges faced by the emerging field of digital migration. The authors centre their discussion on five questions: 1) Why Europe? 2) Where are the field and focus of digital migration studies? 3) Where is the human in digital migration? 4) Where is the political in digital migration? and, 5) How can we de-centre Europe in digital migration studies? They call for a focus on social change, equity and social justice through the foregrounding of the lived experiences of refugees in particular cities and on particular migration routes. An open access version of this article is available here:
Khan, Adrian A. (2018) From the peaks and back: mapping the emotions of trans-Himalayan children education migration journeys in Kathmandu, Nepal. Journal of Children’s Geography. Published online: May 24.
This paper explores how children who have migrated to Kathmandu from Trans-Himalayan regions of Nepal experience conditions of emotional disconnect in the process of migration-for-education. Using a child-centred methodology, the author reviews children’s feelings of fear and moments of joy as they prepare to leave home at a young age. This paper depicts the heavily emotional journeys to Kathmandu, often done by foot and limited ground transport. The paper shows how children are often emotionally disconnected from their mountainous homelands after many years of separation and how disconnection creates complicated feelings. The author highlights children’s affective articulations of ‘return’, and their lived experiences of homecoming. Unfortunately, not open access:
Kordel, Stefan, Tobias Weidinger and Igor Jelen, Eds. (2018) Processes of Immigration in Rural Europe: The Status Quo, Implications and Development Strategies. Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
This edited collection considers the ways in which immigration processes – from leisure-oriented movements to forced migration – increasingly affect areas in Europe that are considered peripheral or rural. The four sections of this book deal with a range of relevant topics through the examination of particular case studies. The first part reflects on relevant concepts related to migration and development in peripheral rural areas. The second part examines patterns and types of immigration processes at play. The third part considers integration, using the lenses of housing, economy and social life. Lastly, the fourth section pays attention to the role of management in this changing human landscape in rural Europe in relation to migration flows. An open-access extract of this book is available online from the publisher:
Sieglinde Rosenberger, Verena Stern, Nina Merhaut, Eds. (2018) Protest Movements in Asylum and Deportation. Springer – IMISCOE Research Series.
This edited volume is based on a comparative research project regarding protests against deportations in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The book deals with contextualizing asylum policies, and focuses on solidary protests and refugee activism as well as restrictionist movements against asylum seekers. The first part of the book contextualizes asylum related protest in relation to government policy in the three focus countries. The second and third sections provide detailed descriptions of the protest movements themselves, including their strategies and sections in relation to deportation and calls for inclusion. The fourth part of the book provides a look into social movement efforts against the inclusion of asylum seekers. The final chapter takes stock of this study of movement dynamics and protest outcomes in light of social movement theory and existing scholarship. The edited volume is open access: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-74696-8
Ghezelbash, Daniel, Violeta Moreno-Lax, Natalie Klein, and Brian Opeskin (2018) Securitization of search and rescue at sea: The response to boat migration in the Mediterranean and Offshore Australia. International and Comparative Law Quarterly 67(2): 315-351.
This article provides a comparison of the law and practice of the European Union and Australia in respect to the search and rescue (SAR) of boat migrants in order to demonstrate the increasing securitization of such responses to individuals facing danger at sea. The authors argue that the humanitarian purpose of SAR has been compromised in the name of border security. In the first part, they contrast SAR operations involving migrants and asylum seekers with operations focused on other people in distress at sea. The second part reviews the relevant international legal regime governing SAR. The third part argues that shifting state practice is explained through a securitization framework and provides a discussion of the consequences of this shift in terms of increased militarization and criminalization, a lack of transparency and accountability, developments related to disembarkation and non-refoulement, and challenges related to cooperation. An open access version of the article is available here:
Reports, Working Papers and Briefs
Bose, Pablo and Lucas Grigri (2018) PR5: Refugee Resettlement Trends in the South-Central US. Refugee Resettlement in Small Cities Reports. University of Vermont. May.
This report is the fifth in a series of six reports. This particular report examines refugee resettlement trends from FY2012-2016 for the South-Central region of the United States. The report considers the contrasting histories of migration within this region, including the long history of immigration to Texas and the much more recent immigration trends in Missouri among others. A common thread among the states featured in this region is that the majority of immigrants come from Latin America. This report is part of a larger project that analyzes resettlement on a regional scale, looking at cities listed as official resettlement sites within each of five broad regions in the continental US. An open access report is available here:
Lim, Miguel Antonio, Andreina Laera, Rebecca Murray and Soheil Shayegh (2018) Displaced migrants in higher education: Findings from a study on pathways and support. EuroScientist. Special Issue highlights sessions held at ESOF 2018 Toulouse, July 9-14.
This publication reports on a survey on the practices and attitudes in higher education institutions with regard to displaced students and academics. The aim of the survey was to identify the best practices to integrate displaced students and academics into higher education institutions and to investigate the difficulties encountered by displaced people in accessing higher education. The researchers found that most respondents were unaware of available pathways and support systems for forced migrants at their universities and research centers. Respondents identified several critical barriers to the integration of displaced students and academics into higher education systems, including language and cultural barriers, financial barriers, and migration status. The researchers call on academic institutions and organizations that deal with forced migrants to facilitate their integration into academic institutions.
Schulman, Susan (2018) Destination Europe: Homecoming – What happens when migrants end up back where they started. Special Report. IRIN. June 18.
This author considers the implications for sub-Saharan Africans following dreams northwards in face of new EU new policies and deals with African nations meant to deter hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking new lives in Europe. The report examines the choices and challenges faced by returnees in Sierra Leone, refugees resettled in France, smugglers in Niger, and migrants in detention centres in Libya, among others. An open access version of this report is available here:
Käppeli, Anita (2018) The EU’s Answer to Migration Is to Triple Funding for Border Management. Will This Do the Job? Centre for Global Development. June 15.
In June 2018, the European Commission published its proposals on migration and border security for the next EU budget (2021–2027), which include nearly tripling financial support for migration, asylum and border management. This budgetary proposal was published amidst an unfolding humanitarian disaster in which EU states have shown themselves unable to act in concert. The author argues that while the unprecedented increase in funding for border management may seem to reflect the hope that more money will do the job in reducing internal tensions during the budgetary negotiations, that the absence of a legal migration mechanism and the EU’s difficulty in building a coherent asylum system could drive more people into risking the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean, irrespective of cutting-edge border management technologies. The open access publication is available here:
News and blog posts
Mattoo, Deepa and Sean Rehaag (2018) US still unsafe for refugees. Hill Times. June 22.
These authors argue that the United States remains unsafe for refugees, including women fleeing domestic violence, and that because of this Canada should suspend or scrap the Safe Third Country Agreement it has with the U.S. government. The article is available here:
Hounsell, Benjamin (2018) How to start a technology revolution for refugees in East Africa. News Deeply. May 7.
This author points out that a quiet revolution in information and communication technology (ICT) education is already underway in low-income communities in East Africa but that the main impediment is the lack of dependable infrastructure, including access to energy and internet connectivity in rural refugee settlements. The author proposes that governments should incentivize the installation of more mobile network towers and access to dependable energy through off-grid solar operators in order to foster the adoption of ICT services within refugee camps. The post is available here:
Deutsche Welle (2018) German Cabinet approves new refugee family reunification law. Deutsche Welle. May 5.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet has decided to resettle an additional 1,000 migrants per month, provided they are the direct relatives of refugees already living in Germany. The issue of migrant family reunifications has been a major sticking point in the German parliament and has exposed deep divisions inside Merkel’s governing coalition.
D’Orsi, Cristiano (2018) Why the election of the Nigerian-born Senator Tony Iwobi is not a symptom of progress in Italy. Open Democracy. May 3.
This author argues that the election of Senator Toni Iwobi represents the latest attempt by an Italian far-right party to show the world that it does not discriminate on the basis of geographical origin. The author says that this effort however brushes over salient details including the significantly increased complications that people migrating to Italy face today compared to when Senator Iwobi immigrated to Italy in the early 1980s. The open access article is available here:
Schuster, Liza (2018) A new bombing in Afghanistan and the tragedy of refugees. The Conversation. July 3.
In this blog post, a researcher reports on the tragic loss of life of a research project participant and the resultant trauma for family members and researchers due to a suicide bombing attack targeting Sikhs and Hindus in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. The author then reflects on the recent meeting of EU heads of government in which they failed to reaffirm a serious and substantial commitment to offer asylum to people fleeing war and persecution but instead opted for appeasement and in doing so abandoned the core values on which the EU was established.
Digital and Social Media
Aiken, Sharry (2018) The future of the Safe Third Country Agreement. Pod Cast. Policy Options. July 4.
In this podcast, associate professor of law at Queen’s University argues that the U.S. is currently unsafe for refugees and looks at the political implications of suspending the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. The podcast is available here: