July 21, 2020: 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. 91

Recent Publications and New Research

Bose, P. S. (2020) The Shifting Landscape of International Resettlement: Canada, the US and Syrian Refugees, Geopolitics. The author of this paper argues that the continued dominance of nation-state centric priorities is indicative of the fragility of the global refugee regime. He uses the example of Canadian and US responses to the Syrian refugee crisis and interviews with officials in each country to illustrate the primacy of national interests rather than international agreements and norms. He considers what this means for the future of refugee resettlement in North America and for the global refugee regime more broadly. (Open access) Read here.

Ozkul, D. (2020). Participatory Research: Still a One-Sided Research Agenda? Migration Letters, 17(2), 229-237. This article reflects on the limitations resulting from inherent power imbalances between researchers and participants and among community members. It also argues that the “glorification of methods” alone disguises the politics and the one-sided nature of participatory research and disregards to what extent participants are involved in the construction of the methodology. This author suggests that – despite the pressure from funders to find out innovative methods – participatory researchers would benefit from understanding participants’ own ways of conceptualising and investigating a phenomenon, in order to build their methodology. (Open access for limited time) Read here.

Doğar, D. (2020) On the Use of Asylum Testimonies in Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Proceedings: H. and J. v the Netherlands and Jaballah (Re). In: Kogovšek Šalamon N. (eds) Causes and Consequences of Migrant Criminalization. Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice, vol 81. Springer, Cham. A growing number of European countries resort to refugee law instruments to identify foreign criminals. However, resorting to refugee law instruments to detect possible criminals might violate the rights of the accused. This chapter analyses this tension between immigration law and criminal law through two key decisions. (Open access) Read here.

Lehmann, C., & Masterson, D. (2020). Does Aid Reduce Anti-refugee Violence? Evidence from Syrian Refugees in Lebanon. American Political Science Review. Anti-refugee violence often accompanies refugee migration, but the factors that fuel or mitigate that violence remain poorly understood, including the common policy response in such settings of humanitarian aid. The authors test for the sign and mechanisms of this relationship. Evidence suggests that cash transfers to Syrian refugees in Lebanon did not increase anti-refugee violence, and if anything they reduced violence. (Open access) Read here.

Bose, P. S. (2020) Refugees and the transforming landscapes of small cities in the US, Urban Geography. While much of the existing literature has focused on economic and family-based migration, in this paper the author looks at a different subgroup, officially resettled refugees. He examines the idea of refugees as an instrument of urban revitalization for smaller cities as well as the opportunities and challenges that their arrival has presented for these sites. He further contextualizes the arrival of refugees within the current environment of rising racism, xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment across the country, as well as a resettlement program undergoing radical changes. More here.

Report, Policy Briefs and Working Papers

Locked Down and Left Behind: The Impact of COVID-19 on Refugees’ Economic Inclusion by Helen Dempster, Thomas Ginn, Jimmy Graham, Martha Guerrero Ble, Daphne Jayasinghe, and Barri Shorey (July 8, 2020). Refugees International. This policy paper aims to understand the economic impacts of the pandemic on refugees in low- and middle-income hosting countries. It gathers available evidence that shows the disproportionate effect of the crisis on refugees, both in terms of effects on employment and wider socio-economic outcomes. It also provides recommendations to both refugee-hosting country governments and donors as to how to ensure and extend economic inclusion for refugees, both in the short- and long-term. Read here.

Queering Asylum in Europe: A Survey Report by Andrade, V. T., Danisi, C., Dustin, M., Ferreira, N., and Held, N. (July, 2020). SOGICA Project – University of Sussex. This report discusses the data gathered through two surveys that explored the social and legal experiences of people across Europe claiming international protection on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). The  final recommendations of the project have also been launched, in versions tailored to Germany, Italy, UK and the European Union. Read full report here.

News reports and blog posts

Opinion: “Zeros” who became pandemic heroes deserve to be rewarded by Julie Young, Grace Wu, and Johanna Reynolds (Jul 04, 2020), Calgary Herald. The authors confront the shift in perspective — from “unauthorized border crossers” to “essential workers”. They argue it demonstrates differential inclusion, the process whereby a group of people is deemed integral to the nation’s economy, culture, identity, and power — but integral only or precisely because of their designated subordinate standing. In other words, they are welcome for their labour but not for permanent membership in society. Read here.

COVID-19 and the Other One Percent: An Agenda for the Forcibly Displaced Six Months into the Emergency by Hadin Lang (July 15, 2020), Refugees International. Measures to contain the spread of the virus have had enormous and often unintended consequences, particularly for those in need of humanitarian assistance. Drawing on this experience, this brief identifies five key areas of priority to help guide ongoing and future efforts to protect highly vulnerable populations over the next stage of the pandemic. Read here.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity…really? Why France’s forsaken “children of ISIS” may grow up to think differently about the French Republic’s values by Philomène Franssen (June 25, 2020), Refugee Law Initiative. This blog highlights the actions and obligations of the French Government towards the repatriation of the children of ISIS French Foreign (terrorist) Fighters who are stranded in displacement camps in Syria, and at risk of statelessness. This author also describes how the issue intersects with forced migration. Read here.

Digital and social media

Independent documentary available now for a limited time on rubble.ca: Trace. Trace was filmed in 2017, in the Greek islands; Oxford, United Kingdom; and Toronto, Canada. It figuratively marks the absence of the refugee crisis by symbolically creating a visual of the crisis, seen through the space containing the crisis and set against narrative accounts of people involved in the crisis. Watch here.

Book introductory video: Flood, C. M., MacDonnell, V., Philpott, J., Thériault, S., Venkatapuram, S. (2020). Vulnerable – The Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19. University of Ottawa Press. This video introduces a book that is a collaborative effort, and a multidisciplinary collection that confronts the vulnerabilities and interconnectedness made visible by the pandemic and its consequences, along with the legal, ethical and policy responses. This book offers a number of chapters relevant to work with newcomers in the COVID-19 context. (Open access) Watch and read here.

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