Daily Archives: Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Journal Articles on Refugee Issues (weekly)

  • “This article examines the extent to which the Treaty of Lisbon’s new express European Union competence over readmissions under Article 79(3) may affirm the Union’s exclusivity over return policy. We first trace the trajectory of Union competences over readmissions from implicit to shared. We then provide a brief overview of European Union’s readmission agreements discussing their scope and content in relation to human rights guarantees and the third-country nationals’ clause. Based on a case study of the French agreements on joint management of immigration flows and partnership development we test whether these agreements are better placed to deal with readmission of third-country nationals than those of the European Union despite a weak human rights record. We find that the French agreements on joint management of immigration flows and partnership development do not compare to European Union’s readmission agreements, because of the broader issue linkages in particular between labour market access and readmission obligations. On that basis we find against a parallelism which might establish an exclusive Union competence over readmission. Yet, the Commission and Council argue that the conclusion of an European Union’s readmission agreement stands proof, together with the European Union Returns Directive of the Union’s occupying the field, so that Member States are precluded from bilateral action. Finally, European Union’s mobility partnerships, which increasingly require the conclusion of an European Union’s readmission agreement, may strengthen arguments in favour of exclusivity, based on the principles of parallelism and subsidiarity. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Survey research on refugee and migrant populations can provide invaluable information, but in order to generate this information it is necessary to confront a variety of methodological challenges. It has proved particularly difficult to generate representative samples of mobile populations in developing cities, where refugees and asylum seekers attempt to ‘hide’ from surveyors, and conventional sampling frames are confounded by intractable urban landscapes and a shortage of reliable baselines. This collection of papers addresses these problems by drawing on a decade of survey research in a city where these problems are especially acute: Johannesburg, South Africa. The contributors reflect on their field experiences, and associated successes and failures, in order to generate practical guidance and tips for researchers and practitioners working on similar issues elsewhere. In particular, the collection challenges the notion that representativity is an unachievable ideal in survey research on refugee populations, and thereby develops concepts and techniques to further refine sampling methods. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This account reflects on potential challenges and benefits of designing and conducting a research project with ‘local’ practitioners. The collaboration with local practitioners provided a surprising mix of challenges and opportunities. It reveals that operational agencies often collaborate or conduct research or assessments for their own purposes and are often biased due to limited research capacity, untested presuppositions, or a strong (and understandable) desire to ensure that their results affirm a need which the relevant agency can help to address. That said, operational agencies often bring with them extensive knowledge about the geographical and human environments that can assist in designing a survey and negotiating access to difficult and potentially hostile communities. While somewhat compromised, the data produced by this sampling strategy and collaboration is powerful and useful in revealing—and challenging widely-held assumptions about—differences in socio-economic and safety vulnerabilities among groups and sub-places sampled. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Through the discussion of the methodological and ethical challenges experienced when designing and implementing a cross-sectional household survey exploring linkages between migration, HIV and urban livelihoods in Johannesburg, this paper argues that it is possible to generate data sufficiently representative of the complexities and differences present in an African urban environment. This is achieved through employing purposive and random sampling techniques across both urban formal (three suburbs in the inner city) and urban informal (an informal settlement on the edge of the city) areas. Urban informal settlements present particular challenges requiring extensive community engagement and mapping to develop a sufficiently representative sampling frame. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Adequate knowledge about the spatial distribution of immigrants, particularly those undocumented, can be a significant challenge while designing social science surveys that are aimed at generating statistically valid results using probability samples. Often the underlying expectation of documented information on a population’s physical distribution and orderly surveillance units needed for random sampling is frustrated by the lack of knowledge about immigrants’ settlement patterns. Addressing these challenges, this paper summarizes a strategy employed for surveying difficult-to-reach immigrant populations in the absence of a reliable sampling frame in inner-city Johannesburg. The survey applied a nationality stratified, three-stage cluster random sampling strategy involving an innovative use of spatial information from a geo-database of buildings within inner-city Johannesburg. An enumeration of the method and challenges faced in the data collection are discussed here to demonstrate the feasibility of probability sampling within non-homogeneously distributed population groups in the absence of pre-existing sampling frames. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Mental health problems have been regarded as one of the main public health challenges of immigrants in several countries. Understanding and generating research-based knowledge on immigrant health problems is highly relevant for planning preventive interventions, as well as guiding social and policy actions. This review aims to map the available knowledge on immigrants’ mental health status and its associated risk factors in Norway. The reviewed literature about mental health problems among immigrant populations in Norway was found through databases, such as PUBMED, EMBASE, PsychINFO and MEDLINE. About 41 peer-reviewed original articles published since 1990s were included. In the majority of the studies, the immigrant populations, specifically adult immigrants from low and middle income countries, have been found with a higher degree of mental health problems compared to Norwegians and the general population. Increased risk for mental illness is primarily linked to a higher risk for acculturative stress, poor social support, deprived socioeconomic conditions, multiple negative life events, experiences of discrimination and traumatic pre-migration experiences. However, research in this field has been confronted by a number of gaps and methodological challenges. The available knowledge indicates a need for preventive interventions. Correspondingly, it strongly recommends a comprehensive research program that addresses gaps and methodological challenges. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Understanding the immigrant experience accessing healthcare is essential to improving their health. This qualitative study reports on experiences seeking healthcare for three groups of immigrants in Toronto, Canada: permanent residents, refugee claimants and undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants who are on the Canadian Border Services Agency deportation list are understudied in Canada due to their precarious status. This study will examine the vulnerabilities of this particular subcategory of immigrant and contrast their experiences seeking healthcare with refugee claimants and permanent residents. Twenty-one semi-structured, one-on-one qualitative interviews were conducted with immigrants to identify barriers and facilitators to accessing healthcare. The open structure of the interviews enabled the participants to share their experiences seeking healthcare and other factors that were an integral part of their health. This study utilized a community-based participatory research framework. The study identifies seven sections of results. Among them, immigration status was the single most important factor affecting both an individual’s ability to seek out healthcare and her experiences when trying to access healthcare. The healthcare seeking behaviour of undocumented immigrants was radically distinct from refugee claimants or immigrants with permanent resident status, with undocumented immigrants being at a greater disadvantage than permanent residents and refugee claimants. Language barriers are also noted as an impediment to healthcare access. An individual’s immigration status further complicates their ability to establish relationships with family doctors, access prescriptions and medications and seek out emergency room care. Fear of authorities and the complications caused by the above factors can lead to the most disadvantaged to seek out informal or black market sources of healthcare. This study reaffirmed previous findings that fear of deportation forestalls undocumented immigrants from seeking out healthcare through standard means. The findings bring to light issues not discussed in great depth in the current literature on immigrant health access, the foremost being the immigration status of an individual is a major factor affecting that person’s ability to seek, and experience of, healthcare services. Further, that undocumented immigrants have difficulty gaining access to pharmaceuticals and so may employ unregulated means to obtain medication, often with the assistance of a doctor. Also, there exists two streams of healthcare access for undocumented immigrants—from conventional healthcare facilities but also from informal systems delivered mainly through community-based organizations. Finally, within the umbrella term ‘immigrant’ there appears to be drastically different healthcare utilization patterns and attitudes toward seeking out healthcare between the three subgroups of immigrants addressed by this study. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Social scientists generally begin with a definition of citizenship, usually the rights-bearing membership of nation-states, and have given less attention to the notions of citizenship held by the people whom they study. Not only is how people see themselves as citizens crucial to how they relate to states as well as to each other, but informants’ own notions of citizenship can be the source of fresh theoretical insights about citizenship. In this article I set out the four notions of citizenship that I encountered during interviews and participant observation across two contrasting regions of Mexico in 2007–2010. The first three notions of citizenship were akin to the political, social and civil rights of which social scientists have written. I will show that they took particular forms in the Mexican context, but they did still entail a relationship with nation-states – that of claiming rights as citizens on states. But the most common notion of citizenship, which has been little treated by social scientists, was of civil sociality – to be a citizen was to live in society, ideally in a civil way. I argue that civil sociality constitutes a kind of citizenship beyond the state, one that is not reducible to the terms in which people relate to states.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Liberal reading often posits Islamism as obverse of modernity and reason. Phil Briscoe’s statement that Hitler’s Mein Kampf might be kept in libraries but not the books by authors like Jamaat-e-Islami’s founder’s (Maududi) amply illustrates it. This article calls such an understanding into question. On the basis of my historical-ethnographic fieldwork on India’s Jamaat-e-Islami and its offshoot, Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), I examine the interrelationships between Islamism and democracy showing Jamaat-e-Islami’s moderation and SIMI’s radicalization. It is my contention that Islamism and democracy are not antithetical to each other; they cohere in complex ways. When democracy is responsive to the traditions and aspirations of its Muslim citizens, Muslims relate to pluralism and democracy. But when democracy becomes majoritarian and a theater of entertainment and violence against Muslims, Islamists turn radical. I also suggest that radicalization such as SIMI’s symbolizes a complex dynamic of democratization and demonopolization of religious authority. By foregrounding the salient transformation of Indian Islamism, this article aims to advance a nuanced, fresh understanding of both Islamism and democracy.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In recent years, Arab-Palestinian citizens in Israel are in search of ‘a new vocabulary of citizenship’, among other ways, by resorting to ‘alternative educational initiatives’. We investigate and compare three alternative schools, each challenging the contested conception of Israeli citizenship. Our findings reveal different educational strategies to become ‘claimants of rights’, yet all initiatives demonstrate the constraints Arab citizens face while trying to become ‘activist citizens’ (E.F. Isin, 2009. Citizenship in flux: the figure of the activist citizen. Subjectivity, 29 (1), 367–388.).”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Although immigration is an essential element in the American national story, it presents difficulties for constructing national membership and national identity in terms of shared intrinsic values. In this article, I analyze speeches made at naturalization ceremonies during two time periods (1950–1970 and 2003–present) to examine the evolving roles of immigrants, as articulated to immigrants themselves. Naturalization ceremonies are a unique research site because the usually implied nationalist content is made explicit to brand new members of the nation. I find a shift in the framing from immigrants as potential liabilities and weak links in the earlier period to immigrants as morally superior redeemers of the American nation in the later period. I discuss the significance of this shift and the relationship between the roles presented at naturalization ceremonies and the discourse found elsewhere in the public sphere.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

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