Daily Archives: Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Journal Articles on Refugee Issues (weekly)

  • “In 2002 compulsory lessons on citizenship were introduced into secondary schools in England following the recommendations of an advisory group chaired by the late Bernard Crick. This study examines if this initiative has been successful in affecting the civic engagement of young people who were exposed to the citizenship curriculum over the decade since it was introduced. It utilises a survey of 18–26 year olds conducted in 2011 and compares respondents who were exposed to the curriculum with those who were not in what is a natural experiment. The findings are that citizenship education had a positive impact on three key components of civic engagement: efficacy, political participation and political knowledge. This suggests that the reform is likely to help offset some of the trends in civic participation among young people which have shown a sharp decline in key activities like voting and voluntary activities over time. The study concludes by speculating on the likely effects of the coalition government’s decision to drop citizenship education as a compulsory subject in the national curriculum in schools in 2014. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Clinical work with people who have survived trauma carries a risk of vicarious traumatisation for the service provider, as well as the potential for vicarious post-traumatic growth (VPTG). Despite a growing interest in this area, the effects of working with survivors of refugee-related trauma have remained relatively unexplored. In this study, we examined the lived experiences of people working on a daily basis with survivors of torture and trauma who had sought refuge in Australia. Seventeen clinical, administrative and managerial staff from a not-for-profit organisation participated in a semi-structured interview that was later analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Analysis of the data demonstrated that the entire sample reported symptoms of vicarious trauma (e.g. strong emotional reactions, intrusive images and shattering of existing beliefs) as well as VPTG (e.g. forming new relationships, increased self-understanding and gaining a greater appreciation of life). Moreover, effortful meaning-making processes appeared to facilitate positive changes. Reduction in the risks associated with this work, the enhancement of clinician well-being, and improvement of therapeutic outcomes for clientele are responsibilities shared by the organisation and clinicians. Without negating the distress of trauma work, clinicians are encouraged to more deeply consider the unique positive outcomes that supporting survivors can provide.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Immigration is perceived as both boon and bane in host countries. Yet, whether immigration promotes, or undermines, economic development remains an empirical question. Using cross-national data for up to 122 countries, this paper tests whether cumulative immigration flows raise aggregate living standards in the long term. The results strongly support the hypothesis. Immigration, however, is not uniformly beneficial for all countries. A sub-analysis of the Latin American and Caribbean region reveals that immigration is less beneficial in the context of higher fertility rates. The results are discussed in the context of migration research and policy at the national and international levels.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “When villages are marked by extensive out-migration and become transnationally extended, the dividing line between migrants and non-migrants becomes salient. But how deep do divisions run? In a cluster of Kurdish villages in central Turkey, notwithstanding continued social bonds, divisions between migrants and non-migrants are not least in existence when it comes to the cultural style of consumption practices, behaviour and manners. The mutual stereotyping of migrants and non-migrants seems to confirm that at least one version of the meaning made locally of migration is that it has deepened the social divisions of the village. But non-migrant villagers also point out that migrants have degraded themselves morally in order to obtain their material well-being. This is contested by migrants who find that non-migrants, too, are morally degraded, since they have lost their initiative and become dependents. Thus the transnational village has become a space for contesting how social status is acquired-in material wealth or in moral comportment-indicating the social suffering that migration has brought to the local sending society. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Significant rural-urban migration has characterized the postcolonial Melanesian states, including Vanuatu. Over the past 30 years, most people who once lived in Samaria village (Tanna Island) have moved to squatter settlements that ring Port Vila, Vanuatu’s capital. Life histories narrated by migrants who live in Port Vila’s Blacksands and Ohlen neighborhoods, and by men and women who remained home on Tanna, reveal migrant agency and pride in their ability to navigate urban challenges including wage-labor, mobile telephony, religious organization, town conflict, gender transformations, and village nostalgia. Tanna migrants celebrate their powers to model their urban settlements after island homes as they also remake the island village with new urban experience and resources. Islander power to remake urban spaces draws on the “partibility” of place—one “distributed” site comprises elements of others so that places travel alongside their people.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Sri Lankan Catholic migrant workers who return home from Italy with money re-migrate after a short time. They do not find Sri Lanka a welcoming country for investment or work. The dearth of opportunities for returnees is frustrating and leads them to act with indifference towards the place they cherish. Instead of using their savings to invest locally, people spend their money building large houses and buying expensive consumer goods; and when their money runs out, they return to Italy. Unable to be upwardly mobile, their only alternative is to become indifferent to the opinions of those who mock them for “becoming Italian.” However, their indifference can be interpreted as their understanding of the country and of the rigidity of cultural norms that do not afford them recognition for their efforts.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The growing number of immigrants in the Madrid region raises several questions concerning the welfare of future native generations. The debates shift from increasing concern about the congestion of public services like education or healthcare, to how immigration helps to ease tension in relation to financing those services and other benefits to the region’s general welfare. In order to evaluate the global effect, our analysis uses a generational accounting method which is applied to different productivity, interest rate and growth scenarios. The results show that the impact of immigrants is positive, with intergenerational distribution towards the currently most active taxpayers.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This collaborative article examines how two academic institutions and one nongovernmental organization cooperated to map recent trial activity for past human rights violations, applying social science techniques to assist survivors’ and relatives’ groups as well as litigators in making informed strategic choices in their interactions with the formal justice system. The article discusses how methodologically rigorous data collection and data requests to public bodies can be used to advance a proaccountability agenda. The authors show how a range of civil society and state actors have changed justice system outcomes in Argentina, Chile and Peru and highlight some lessons learned about engaged, policy-relevant research. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The development of the EU asylum and migration policy is often explained as the result of ‘venue-shopping’, that is, the move by policy-makers to an EU policy venue in order to avoid national constraints. This article demonstrates that, contrary to what would have been expected on the basis of this widespread view, EU co-operation on asylum matters has actually led to a rise in the legal standards applicable to asylum-seekers and refugees. This outcome can be mainly explained by broader changes that have gradually affected the EU ‘system of venues’ and have thereby decreased the likelihood of more restrictive measures being adopted in the EU asylum policy venue. This has important implications for the EU governance of asylum and migration in general.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Cooperation on asylum has significantly developed amongst the European Union Member States in recent years. This is remarkable given the sensitivity of asylum matters, which are inherently highly political. All the articles presented in this special issue aim to capture some aspects of the European Union fast changing asylum policy following the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and the adoption of the Stockholm Programme in December 2009. The special issue examines the impact of these changes on asylum governance in the European Union, in particular whether, as a result of these changes, we can observe an increase in supranational governance in a policy area that was traditionally intergovernmental, with a strong focus on national sovereignty. As the articles in this special issue demonstrate, there have been many changes in the European Union polity, which European Union institutions have exploited by providing European Union legislation. As a result, there has been an important increase in supranational governance and significant steps have been taken towards establishing a “Common Area of Protection”. However, asylum matters are not governed supranationally yet. Actually, there is still a considerable way to go before all the objectives set in the area of asylum are fully met. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Large numbers of displaced persons and their highly unequal distribution constitute a significant challenge for policy-makers. Questions about the determinants of such flows and how governments can manage them have been a long-standing concern of the academic literature. It has sometimes been argued that if a State’s reception burden is large, then that country’s policies are overly generous relative to other destination countries. However, this article shows that this argument risks overestimating the link between the policies of destination countries and the direction and size of migration flows. It argues that the effectiveness of both unilateral and multilateral policies to regulate forced migration flows is limited. To support this argument, the article reviews the literature on the role of push–pull factors of international migration and provides both qualitative and quantitative empirical data to analyse the impact and effectiveness of national and international regulatory initiatives in this field. Particular attention will be placed on the role of regional cooperation in the context of the highly institutionalized asylum and refugee policy framework of the European Union. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article examines the role that Malta and the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) have played within the European Union in developing regional responses to irregular migration since 2004. It briefly compares their responses to those of other, larger southern Member States and traces the instances where Malta and the RoC have attempted to influence European migration and asylum policies, with varying degrees of success. It looks particularly at attempts by the two States to affect distalization processes, that is, policies that displace responsibility for migration and asylum away from the core of Europe towards its peripheries. In doing so, it questions the assumption that this is largely a one-way process, directed from large, powerful States at Europe’s core towards weaker Member States on the periphery. The article argues that, paradoxically, the processes of placing responsibility for migration and asylum on peripheral Member States have given Malta and the RoC more political clout in order to pursue their interests within the European Union. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article assesses the European Union’s efforts to implement refugee protection and how solidarity and responsibility-sharing apply between Member States. The analysis focuses on the case of Greece, which faces extreme migratory pressures and is still in the process of building an effective asylum system. The research locates the types of responsibilities owed to refugees under European Union law for selected areas such as humanitarian support upon arrival, assessment of protection needs, and provision of material reception conditions to those who request protection. It also examines the effect of the European Union’s responsibility allocation regime in placing those responsibilities disproportionately on Greece. As a response to this crisis, European Union’s institutions and agencies as well as individual Member States have undertaken a series of measures to support Greece. This research will outline European Union’s solidarity measures undertaken in Greece and their basis in European Union law. It will assess the impact of these mechanisms on Greece’s capacity to fulfil its humanitarian obligations and highlight gaps and challenges that remain. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “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

  • “This article highlights some of the key issues relating to the protection of irregular migrants facing expulsion, using the example of Italian practices and rules. The article examines the current debate on the applicability of European immigration standards to return procedures, focusing on the entry into force of the Return Directive. The analysis first addresses the recent changes in the regime for the protection of migrants brought about by the adoption of new national legal provisions to check the conformity of Italian legislation with the Directive, seeking to identify the challenges and the practical problems that Italy is facing in transposing this instrument to the national level. The analysis will aim to identify jurisprudence issuing from regional and national bodies, which is advancing the standards of the treatment of unauthorised migrants in the context of hostile domestic law and political rhetoric, applying the doctrine of “direct effect” of European Union law. The article also explores the role of jurisprudence in providing effective protection of the fundamental rights of irregular migrants once present in a host State, limiting the absolute discretion of States. It concludes by looking at some features of the European harmonisation of return policies to find out whether or not this issue should be dealt with at the European level for a human rights-based approach. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Border guards are the first actors that asylum-seekers and refugees encounter when crossing national borders to seek asylum. What assures the capacity of border guards is training and, in the European context, the European Union border agency Frontex has developed a common border guard training regime that European Union Member States have participated in forming. This article asks what impact this Frontex training has brought to the field of European Union external border management. Building upon the works of sociological institutionalists, it argues that Frontex training has brought an integrative effect to the field with the effects of socialization and professionalization at a European level. These effects, which are brought through the use of common training and training materials, have promoted the sharing of the views of border guards and the creation of a professional community at the European level. This implies that the way that policies are implemented on the ground is largely shifting toward convergence. It is also identified that what supports the high degree of participation in Frontex training is the understanding of Member States that participation converges with their interests in relation to others in the same field. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The rapid growth of transitional justice, in both scholarship and practice, has generated an increasing interest in explanatory and evaluative studies of transitional justice dilemmas confronted by transition elites.1 In particular, postcommunist encounters with transition witnessed the emergence of various practices of lustration, criminal trials and truth commissions. Thus, it is not surprising that the region’s diverse historical and political experiences provide rich ground for the study of transition. The books reviewed here build upon a long tradition of scholarly engagement with postcommunist transitional justice to provide political science perspectives on dilemmas of transition that taken together provide important contributions to transitional justice scholarship through context-rich and lucid multicountry case studies.2

    To be sure, both Brian Grodsky’s and Roman David’s texts are ambitious in scope. Grodsky’s Costs of Justice provides cross-national case studies that attempt to address two underlying weaknesses in transitional justice scholarship identified by the author: a tendency to focus on single-country case studies and a narrow focus on transitional justice dilemmas that does not take into account the broad range of policy challenges facing transitional elites, from establishing new institutions of governance to economic restructuring. David’s Lustration and Transitional Justice, like Grodsky’s text, presents multicountry case studies. Unlike Grodsky, however, David seeks to explain the emergence and effects of lustration in particular and offers policy-relevant advice as to how to deal with the legacy of inherited personnel.3

    Explanatory studies of transitional justice are at the core of political science inquiry into the field.4 They were initially embedded within a wide body of literature that sought to understand the political transitions in Latin America, East Asia and Central and Eastern Europe during the latter half of the 20th century. While attempts to understand, or evaluate, the social and political effects of transitional justice … ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Since 2000, Australia has provided significant levels of funding and resources to encourage Indonesia to use immigration detention to deter asylum seekers from making the onward journey to Australia. In this way Australia has effectively extended its domestic policy of immigration detention beyond its own national borders. The provision of Australian funding for detention in Indonesia has resulted in an increased propensity of Indonesian officials to detain. This article examines the outcomes and implications of this transfer of immigration detention policy for asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia. It draws on interviews conducted with individuals who have spent time in Indonesia’s immigration detention centres, and Indonesian immigration officials, to assess the conditions of the detention centres. The particular arrangement between Australia and Indonesia, however, fails adequately to protect the human rights of immigration detainees. Ultimately, the detention of asylum seekers in Indonesia serves as one more barrier to finding effective protection in the Asia-Pacific region. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “We propose a theoretical framework for analyzing the problems associated to unilateral immigration policy in receiving countries and for evaluating the grounds for reform of international institutions governing immigration. We build a model with multiple destination countries and show that immigration policy in one country is influenced by measures adopted abroad as migrants choose where to locate (in part) in response to differences in immigration policy. This interdependence gives rise to a leakage effect of immigration policy, an international externality well documented in the empirical literature. In this environment, immigration policy becomes strategic and unilateral behavior may lead to coordination failures, where receiving countries are stuck in welfare inferior equilibria. We then use an equilibrium refinement to show that the selected equilibrium differs from the Pareto-dominant one and argue that multilateral institutions that help receiving countries make immigration policy commitments would address this inefficiency.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Over the past six decades, South Africans have drawn on the symbol of Anne Frank in diverse ways in order to make sense of their own history and politics. The portrayal of Anne underwent several dramatic shifts during the apartheid period and after the transition to a non-racial political system, from a 1950s play foregrounding the young diarist’s Jewishness to a 2009 exhibition promoting tolerance and democracy. Below, the author considers what such representations can tell us more broadly about how the legacy of Nazism informed understandings of and responses to apartheid, and explores how the Holocaust was appropriated for disparate political ends in the postwar world’s quintessential racial state. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Legal remedies for historical injustices rely upon the politicization of memory, as current debates about the 1904–1907 genocide of the Herero in German Southwest Africa (contemporary Namibia) demonstrate. Here the author shows how claims for financial reparations obscure historical influences on the Herero community and the Namibian nation-state: German colonial rule and local actors complicit in it, the intervening period of South African rule; and the post-independence context. Bringing into a single conversation historical, ethnographic, media, and legal research, the author argues that the politics of compensation can distort historical narratives, and, more specifically, undermine opportunities for post-apartheid Namibia to come to terms with both distant and recent histories of dispossession. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “During World War II, Italians committed numerous atrocities against civilians and allied POWs in Axis-occupied North Africa, and especially in Libya, one of Italy’s oldest colonies. Atrocities were ordered by the political and military leadership, but racist thinking and actions were widespread among junior officials, soldiers of the Italian Army, and even Italian colonists. The author argues that the colonial context contributed to the dramatic radicalization of Fascist rule after 1940 and distinguished the Libyan case from the Italian occupation regimes in Croatia and Greece. What the events in Libya underline is that, when discussing the persecution and killing of Jews during World War II, we must consider not only Europe but North Africa as well. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Because of the strategic value of French North Africa for the Axis war effort, German authorities carried out extensive propaganda efforts among prisoners of war from that region. Special propaganda camps were established in Germany and occupied France to win over a select group of prisoners who, it was hoped, could later influence other prisoners. German propaganda stressed the power of German arms, affinities between Nazism and Islam, and French discrimination against Muslims, and exploited Muslim resentment over the status of Jews in French North Africa. Although the success of their propaganda efforts among the masses of prisoners was limited, the Germans did manage to recruit some spies and collaborators and to drive a wedge between the Vichy authorities and North African soldiers.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Since 2000, Australia has provided significant levels of funding and resources to encourage Indonesia to use immigration detention to deter asylum seekers from making the onward journey to Australia. In this way Australia has effectively extended its domestic policy of immigration detention beyond its own national borders. The provision of Australian funding for detention in Indonesia has resulted in an increased propensity of Indonesian officials to detain. This article examines the outcomes and implications of this transfer of immigration detention policy for asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia. It draws on interviews conducted with individuals who have spent time in Indonesia’s immigration detention centres, and Indonesian immigration officials, to assess the conditions of the detention centres. The particular arrangement between Australia and Indonesia, however, fails adequately to protect the human rights of immigration detainees. Ultimately, the detention of asylum seekers in Indonesia serves as one more barrier to finding effective protection in the Asia-Pacific region. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “When interpreted as citizenship of the European Union, the development of European citizenship has prompted a series of debates on rights, membership and belonging, and democracy and constitutionalism. These debates can be enriched by highlighting the ways in which European citizenship is enacted by a variety of actors. It is argued that acts of European citizenship occur under two different dynamics: extension and assertion. Acts under the dynamic of extension are most often acts extending existing legal citizenship regimes by formal and public institutions, such as the European Court of Justice. Acts under the hitherto relatively neglected dynamic of assertion are likely to be more diffuse in location and visibility and uncertain in their goals and impacts. Understanding such acts – and the links between acts under the two dynamics – has the potential to reinvigorate and expand research agendas in the study of European citizenship.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

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