Displacement and uncertainty

Katarzyna Grabska (Erasmus University )
Cindy Horst (PRIO)
C105 (access code C1764 )
Start time:
12 July, 2012 at 11:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Displacement leads to great levels of uncertainty for individuals, groups and nations. We welcome papers that critically examine the links between displacement and social change, and ways in which displacement creates uncertainty in people's lives and their place-/life-making projects.

Long abstract:

Worldwide, displacement leads to great levels of uncertainty for individuals, groups and nations. Protracted refugee situations like those of the Palestinians; Somalis in Kenya; and Afghans in Pakistan, often pose challenges to regional stability in both conflict and post-conflict situations. Challenges to peace arise from the political and military operations of refugees across the border, at times with support of authorities in hosting countries. Furthermore, there are situations in which refugees pose threats to the national security of their country of (temporary) settlement. Yet, the human security needs and human rights of the displaced in these situations are left in limbo, leading to great levels of uncertainty for the people involved. Displacement of populations leads to frictions in post-conflict situations, particularly regarding land, property rights and social norms. Peace-negotiations may stall over the fate of the displaced and over the return of or compensation for land and other property lost due to displacement. Land- and property issues can in fact be a cause of recurrent outbreaks of violent conflict. Lubkemann (2010) argues that the empirically most productive and relevant direction for future displacement studies is one that focuses on the effects that displacement has as a process on other mainstream processes of social transformation. We welcome papers that challenge and critically examine such assumptions. In what ways does displacement create uncertainty in people's lives, their aspirations for the future and place-/life-making projects? How can we theorise about displacement, peace, social change and the types of uncertainties that displacement brings about?