3rd Global Conference
Migrations: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Project
Sunday 1st December 2019 – Monday 2nd December 2019
Prague, Czech Republic
ABSTRACT AND PAPERS
Refugees economies, the case of Syrian refugees in Jordan Proposal
Salam Alhaj Hasan
Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany
refugee economies, forced migration, the Middle East, household survey, host countries policies, aid, networks, integration.
In my PhD research, I focus on how Syrian refugees in Jordan cope with displacement economically. This presentation reports on the primary findings I arrived at after conducting my fieldwork in Jordan from December 2018 until May 2019.
Since 2011, more than 5.5 million Syrians have crossed international borders to flee their homes (UNHCR, 2018). Displacement poses challenges on host countries and on refugees. With increasingly longer periods of displacement, aid funding is decreasing. In addition, most hosting countries grant no legal status to refugees and consider them “guests” limiting their rights of work and movement. Refugees, hence, struggle to secure basic needs. Despite such restrictions, refugees do have agency and find strategies to generate income.
My research investigates the dynamics of refugee economies. I examine how refugees allocate their resources within the institutional context in Jordan. My theoretical framework suggests that the main factors influencing the economic behaviour of refugees include regulations pertaining to work and movement, international aid, and other factors relating to the social and human capital of refugees.
The empirical part of my research tests these hypotheses. I use a data set of household surveys I collected in Jordan from December 2018 to May 2019 in addition to expert interviews. Sampling 100 households in Zaatari camp and 300 households in the cities of Amman and Irbid, this presentation looks at the different income generating activities refugees take up in different settings (inside camps and outside, informal and formal sector). It also addressed the effect of social capital and uncertainty on economic outcomes. Further, the presentation gives a short description of the institutional context in Jordan. Finally, if there was time, it addresses main difficulties faced by the researcher in the field.
-no abstract available-
Public Service Provision for Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Perspectives, Prospects and Challenges
The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Refugee Crisis, Turkey, Public Service, Local Government, Education, Healthcare, Syrian Refugees
Refugee and migration crises are among the most heartrending and vexatious humanitarian issues of this century. Syria is one of the most significant humanitarian crisis and disasters of our time. Since the conflict in 2011, hundreds of thousands of civilian population have been killed, and millions have forced to move from their homeland (UNHCR, 2017). Since 2011, civil war and terrorism have led millions of people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries including Turkey, Jordan, Egypt or any other country. This massive flow from Syria to Turkey currently makes Turkey one of the largest host countries for the Syrian refugees in the region, and Turkey is the country hosting most refugees throughout the world. As a result of the massive flux of Syrian refugees to Turkey, Turkish public service has been under an undeniable pressor, and this massive inflow has impacted Turkish public service.
This study falls within the qualitative paradigm which inductively explores a contemporary social phenomenon (indicate the research topic) in its natural settings (local and public services of Turkey), by attempting to interpret the meanings people attribute to this phenomenon through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and documented sources (Creswell, 2014; Yin, 2010). Thus, this research involves multiple sources of data gathering rather than relying on a single source (Creswell, 2014; Marshall and Rossman, 2011), including A- individual interviews with representatives of government agencies, public and private stakeholders; B- focus group meetings with of government agencies, public and private stakeholders. I have finished my data gathering process and interviewed 50 people in Turkey. Almost all of them had at least a bachelor degree and have been a part of this process from the beginning.
Blocked Agency/Boxed into Violence: Yemenis and the “Muslim ban”
Marquette University, USA
-no abstract available-
Traversing boundaries and borderlands
Globalisation is supposedly all about a world without borders, in which people, goods, services, capital and information move freely. Yet, since the Cold War, the number of border walls tripled, and the US, Israel, Greece, Spain and India together had 6,000 kilometres of walls in 2013. These serve military purposes less than the exclusion of migrants and terrorists – the latter categories often blurring in the surveillance systems, visa regulations and deportation regimes that express the increasing fortress mentality of European and US populations.
Since these walls cannot be impenetrable, their real purpose may be to create a perception of increased safety and identity for those inside, many of whom fear immigrants’ competition for work or state benefits. If so, do different community relations and forms of identity impact the need for border walls, real and virtual? Could the static, defensive border walls turn into something more flexible and dynamic? Can rhythmic movements change shape according to local conditions like in an intertidal zone, where separation and connection are corresponding states?
I plan to explore alternative models and histories of identity and relationship, which may alter our perceptions and, consequently, our stance towards a shared post-Westphalian world on a limited planet. At which points do imperialist strategists, indigenous populations and migrant communities clash and converge? What does a border mean in relation to the need for security, connections with local land- and culture-scapes, encounters with new ideas, or exchanges of goods? When can walls be bridges? Drawing on Sassen (1996, 2008, 2014), Silberman, Till and Ward (2015), Valet (2016), Brown (2010), Benjamin (1999), Balibar (2009) and Paz (2016), amongst others, as well as my own life lived between countries, I will endeavour to discover new aspects of an old topic in conversation with the conference participants, following an introduction and provocations.
Creating a Turkish Muslim Festival/Identity in Southern California
Turkish immigrants to southern California followed in the footsteps of earlier communities in staging gala extravaganzas celebrating their history and culture in an effort to integrate into their new society. Much like the Chinese immigrants in San Francisco, who staged parades, Chinese New Year Celebrations, and Miss Chinatown contests, the Turkish immigrants convened massive festivals such as the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival. The first two festivals were held in Orange County. Tens of thousands of people attended. Visitors entered through what was called “Civilizations Path.” Actors dressed in period costumes greeted visitors who then toured replicas of Istanbul, Konya, Antalya, Mardin and Van. A replica of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul featured booths where artisans from Turkey taught traditional handicrafts such as paper marbling and carpet weaving. There was an elegant mosque with a women’s section off to one side. Fairgoers could purchase Turkish kebab, dondurma (ice cream), or tea and coffee. In my paper, through interviews, personal accounts, and primary and secondary source material, I will discuss the complex historical and cultural meanings of these festivals and what the organizers hoped to accomplish.
Towards a Common Theory of Second-Generation Assimilation: Comparing United States and European Studies on Education and Labor Market Integration
Autonomous University of Barcelona
second-generation assimilation, classical linear theory, segmented assimilation theory, comparative integration context theory
Since the 1970s and 1980s, subsequent waves of so-called ‘new immigration’ have been arriving in the United States and Europe. In the US, this immigration started with the arrival of immigrants and asylum-seekers from Mexico, Central America, and Asia. In Europe, the trend began with the influx of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants and continues today with the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Anti-immigrant politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have adopted exclusionary and often xenophobic rhetoric to further their policies, arguing that these new immigrants and their children are essentially incapable of assimilating into Western society. A review of the literature reveals why the classical linear theory of second-generation assimilation is no longer relevant and proposes instead the contemporary segmented assimilation and comparative integration context theories developed by US and European researchers, respectively. A presentation of the findings of two state-of-the-art studies—the CILS project for the United States context and TIES project for the European context—provides empirical evidence that, despite undeniable obstacles, the new second generation is indeed able to assimilate into Western education systems and the labor market. Nonetheless, gaps in the existing literature also suggest the need for further research in the field for the creation of a more generalizable theory of second-generation assimilation before appropriate policy measures can be implemented.
Contemporary hegemony: A Rethink of Transnational Long-distance Democratic Participation
Kennedy Ebang Njikang
University of Jyvaskyla-Finland
Gramsci-Hegemony, Diaspora group/groups, Consciousness, Intellectuals, Civil society, Digital-diaspora, Power-Struggle, Homeland.
Even though the question of diasporic discontent continues to resonate within diasporic communities as evident in transnational studies, the notion of the diaspora group capable of building concrete structures and mobilise in the power struggle of their country of origin continue to pose as a challenge. Amidst disagreeing views about the political role of diaspora in their countries of origin, recent trends in transnational mobilization, especially towards the country of origin, continue to show that researchers are no longer taking without concretes evidence or a kind of vacuum. Diasporas are now thinking with real problems and objective in their mind as they engaged in activism and political mobilisation toward their country of origin. The question this paper pose is if some of Gramsci perspectives are available for operationalisation and help theorized some of the challenges confronting diasporic political activism towards the country of origin, aims towards transformation and sustainable democratic change.
To empirically investigate this question and in line with the theoretical focus of this paper, the notion of the diaspora I suggest should be categories as a group within which heterogeneity (such as ethnicity, class and gender) and power negotiations prevail. In doing so, I acknowledge the criticism of diaspora scholars, and in the analysis, I pay attention to how these differences play out towards theorizing diaspora democratic engagements. The result shows that, Gramsci’s understanding of the integral state in contemporary state-diaspora relations provides a platform to examine the centrality of politics within diaspora activism and how these programs enhance a clear political position of transnational’s toward the country of origin. Gramsci-hegemony serves as a tool for elaborating the influence of civil society and social media as a concrete institutional space align to physical, enabling transnational’s to expand their capacity towards a broader form of democratic participation in a contemporary power relationship.
Turkish Refugees: Constructing Meaning out of Trauma
California State University at Long Beach
This paper elucidates the ways in which Turkish refugees construct agentic spiritual meaning out of their trauma of political oppression and subsequent displacement, in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 attempted coup in Turkey and subsequent government-led purge. According to anthropologists Elzbieta Gozdziak and Dianna J. Shandy, when refugees apply a spiritual lens to construct meaning from traumatic experiences, this can lead to adaptive outcomes including community building and trauma recovery Refugees commonly suffer from feelings of distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, humiliation, and feelings of societal uselessness, because of their experiences and dependency on aid organizations. Yet anthropologist Liisa Malkki argues for the importance of considering exiles and refugees as actors and not merely as victims, and urges scholars to allow them to define their own experiences. Indeed, as scholar of post-colonial studies Edward Said points out, the refugee experience, while characterized by profound loss, nevertheless offers the potential for “originality of vision.” Towards understanding refugee-defined meaning construction, I interviewed dozens of Turkish refugees in Greece in the summers of 2018 and 2019. They conveyed that faith played a key role in helping them process their trauma. When asked what they learned from their experiences, my informants spoke of the prominent role that spirituality played in coping with their ordeal. They explained that their experiences made them more empathetic, and granted them profound insight on the importance of focusing on family connections and the hereafter, rather than on the material world which, they realized, is unstable and is easily upended. Analyzing refugee subjectivity in the aftermath of trauma allows for insight on the potential of religion as a mechanism for coping and on the creativity of theologies of diaspora.
The Unfaded Political Boundaries: Irreconcilability of State Sovereignty and International Responsibility to Protect Internally Displaced Persons
Jindal Global Law School, India
Internal Displacement; State Sovereignty; Inter-state boundaries; Internally Displaced Persons; International Law; Human Rights.
Since the Second World War, there has been a gradual shift from state-centrism to individual-centrism, as evidenced by Nuremburg trials and the signing of UDHR. The world is turning into an international community which is obligated, morally as well as legally, to preserve rights of all individuals across inter-state borders. Several international instruments and judgments pronounce the right of individuals to seek international assistance and a corresponding obligation on the international community to act in times of widespread and systemic violation of human rights.
But, this paper argues, we are still not in a post-Westphalian order where the consent of the State would not matter for the protection of human rights of its Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). National sovereignty can only be violated for the purposes of the UN Charter i.e. maintaining international peace and security, but for all other purposes including the protection of human rights of its IDPs, the consent of the State is mandatory. The political boundaries remain unfaded, as far as visibility and international action in the context of internally displaced persons is concerned.
This paper further argues that it is the legal gap, caused due to the irreconcilability between the concepts of national sovereignty and international responsibility to protect internally displaced persons, that the IDPs fall into. The paper also discusses ways to bridge this legal lacuna in order to ensure better protection of the rights of IDPs.
What culture is there for me? Strategies of acculturation and cultural integration of Jewish and non-Jewish migrants in Brussels
Bar Ilan University, Israel
The city of Brussels is considered as a multi-cultural, multi-ethnical city with a unique mixture of ethnicities, religions and cultures. The meeting cross point of cultures is a fascinating way to learn about mutual influences between cultures where questions of openness versus closures and exchange are raised among new cultures that arrive as well as the host culture.
This proposed presentation is aimed at looking into five main components of cultures in relation to cultural integration of migrant women living in Brussels. The study compares Jewish and non-Jewish migrants in each of those five cultural components.
The classic definition of culture in anthropological literature is that of Geertz (1973), who argues that culture is the complete way of life that includes technology and objects. Culture is all a person should know to become an active individual in society. Swidler (2010) states that culture is based on symbolic tools of meaning including beliefs, rituals, art, informal culture such as language, and gossip stories. These symbolic forms are the means through which social processes of sharing behavior and perceptions occur within a particular community.
For the purposes of this study, I will relate to the narrow definition of culture as the sum of symbols, language, values, norms and material objects. In the presentation I will discuss the extend migrants use these components in order to integrate or not in the host society and the choices they make in order when it comes to bequeath to the next generation.
Furthermore, this research exhibits the four main strategies of acculturation according to Berry (1997): integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization, in relation to different migrant groups studied in Brussels.
How sport can be an effective tool to promote community cohesion and integration (in the UK and internationally)
Youth Sport Trust International
Sport for development, Youth Sport Trust International, Peace, United Nations, young people, inspire, engage.
Sport has the power to unite young people from different cultures, backgrounds, gender and abilities to develop their skills and understanding of each other. Evaluation of camps with a focus on learning through doing sport facilitated by Youth Sport Trust International, on behalf of the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, for over 150 young people from 30 different countries highlighted positive outcomes:
– Recognising, developing a local identity and a sense of belonging
– Challenging perceptions, attitudes
– Increasing understanding
– Finding mutuality to enhance communication
The methodology adopted (practical strategies) has now been used successfully in the UK to support teachers working in disadvantaged communities and with young people for whom English is not their first language. Our conclusion is that sport is a highly effective tool to inspire and engage young people to learn about complex issues and develop positive solutions. It breaks down barriers and has a significant role to play in community cohesion and integration.
‘Sport has established itself as effective tool for development and peace building…………we have to make sure that sport keeps playing its beneficial role’
Wilfred Lemke, Former Special Adviser to the Secretary General, United Nations