Daily Archives: Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Journal Articles on Refugee Issues (weekly)

  • “Background

    Former combatants have frequently reported that aggressive behaviour can be appetitive and appealing. This appetitive aggression (AA) may be adaptive for survival in a violent environment, as it is associated with a reduced risk of combat-related psychological traumatization. At the same time, AA might impair motivation for re-integration to civil life after ending active duty. Whereas in Colombia those combatants who volunteered for demobilization were mostly tired of fighting, those who demobilized collectively did so mainly by force of the government. We predicted those who were demobilized collectively would still be attracted to violence, and benefit from the resilience against trauma-related mental suffering, moderated by appetitive aggression, as they would have continued fighting had they not been forced to stop.
    Method

    A sample of 252 former Colombian former combatants from paramilitary and guerrilla forces was investigated. Appetitive aggression was assessed using the Appetitive Aggression Scale (AAS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms with the PTSD Symptom Scale-Interview (PSS-I). We distinguished between individual and group demobilization and assessed reasons for disarmament.
    Results

    Most of the guerrilla troops who demobilized individually and were tired of fighting reported both an attraction to violence as well as increased trauma symptoms, owing to their former engagement in violent behaviour. In contrast, among those who were demobilized collectively, appetitive aggression was associated with a reduced risk of PTSD. However, this effect was not present in those combatants in the upper quartile of PTSD symptom severity.
    Conclusion

    The influence of combat experience on traumatization, as well as the motivation for demobilization, differs remarkably between those combatants who demobilized individually and those who were members of a group that was forced to demobilize. This has important implications for the implementation of re-integration programmes and therapeutic interventions. ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The article proceeds from the contention that rights are socially constructed; that social rights are constructed through the naming and claiming of needs; and that social citizenship provides the context for the realisation of such rights. It is argued that needs precede rights, but both are framed within two intersecting dimensions: sociality (the competing meanings that attach to social interdependency) and negotiation (the dynamics of the claiming process). From this premise, the article advances a post-Marshallian concept of citizenship that is truly social; that may be constituted in a variety of modes and at a variety of sites at the points at which competing understandings of needs and rights collide; that may transcend territorial boundaries; that may be shaped by a spectrum of means, ranging from local customs to international covenants; that may be centred on a politics of need as the process whereby needs are translated into rights.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “International treaties are usually drafted in one negotiated lingua franca and then translated into the other authentic languages. The quality of these translations must be uncontroversial because once authenticated, they become original versions with equivalent legal effect. This paper investigates semantic-pragmatic aspects of performatives in the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UN 1948) and in the more recent EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (EU 2000), in English and Italian. Considering the 50 years elapsing between the publications of the two treaties, the analysis aims at ascertain translational equivalence and equivalent legal effects when rendering similar and in some cases, almost repetitive provisions. The comparison will ideally contribute to reflect on the implications of multilingual translation in the current global environment with special regard to legal instruments.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The translation services of the European Union (EU) are meant to guarantee that EU institutions can, and actually do, communicate with member states in these states’ own official languages, as long as they have been bestowed the status of official EU languages (Council Regulation No 1, Articles 1–5). Though it is well-known among EU politicians that reality falls short of this objective, there is no serious discussion about this, let alone an attempt to bring reality in line with the Regulation. As the following study of the EU Commission’s communication with the German national parliament (Bundestag) shows, actual practice does contrast sharply with the EU politicians’ never-ending eulogy on multilingualism. Such eulogy instead seems to be part of an ideology which serves to calm down concerns from traditional competitors of English as an international language such as, in particular, speakers of French, German, Italian or Spanish, the status and function of whose languages suffer most from the present practice.

    Die Übersetzungsdienste der Europäischen Union (EU) sollen gewährleisten, dass die EU-Institutionen mit den Mitgliedstaaten in deren jeweiligen Sprachen kommunizieren, sofern diese zugleich offizielle Sprachen der EU sind (Ratsverordnung Nr. 1, Artikel 1 – 5). Unter EU-Politikern ist bekannt, dass die Wirklichkeit weit hinter diesem Ziel zurück bleibt. Jedoch gibt es weder Debatten darüber noch ernsthafte Versuche, die Wirklichkeit mit den rechtlichen Vorgaben in Einklang zu bringen. Die herrschende Praxis – die hier am Beispiel der Kommunikation der EU-Kommission mit dem Bundestag dargestellt wird – widerspricht deutlich dem fortwährenden Lobpreis der europäischen Sprachenvielfalt. Diese Lobhudelei scheint eher dem Zweck zu dienen, die traditionellen „Konkurrenten” des Englischen als internationale Sprache zu besänftigen, vor allem die Sprecher von Französisch, Deutsch, Italienisch und Spanisch. Diese Sprachen leiden nämlich hinsichtlich Status und Funktion besonders stark unter der gegenwärtigen Praxis.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This paper considers whether or not in Tanzania, ethnicity conditions access to health and nutrition during childhood and adolescence. We estimate height-augmented Mincerian earnings functions with data from the 2004 Tanzanian Household Worker Survey. Instrumental variable parameter estimates reveal that when the effects of unobserved investments in health and nutrition during childhood and adolescence on adult height are accounted for, the labor market return on height varies across ethnic groups in our sample. This suggests that in Tanzania ethnicity is a constraint on effective health care policy as there is ethnic discrimination in the provision of health and nutrition investment during childhood and adolescence that constrains adult height, living standards and economic growth. As such, public health policy in sub-Saharan Africa could potentially be more effective through reforms that eliminate any ethnic bias in the provision of health capital during childhood/adolescence.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “There are long-standing concerns over low fertility levels in Europe and an increasingly important debate on the extent to which migration can compensate for below-replacement fertility. To inform this debate, a wide array of indicators have been developed to assess the joint influence of fertility, mortality, and migration on birth replacement and intergenerational replacement. These indicators are based on various models and assumptions and some are particularly data demanding. In this article we propose a simple method to assess how far migration alters the extent of replacement for a birth cohort as it ages. We term the measure the overall replacement ratio (ORR). It is calculated by taking the size of a female birth cohort at selected ages divided by the average size of the cohorts of mothers in the year of birth. We present estimates of the ORR for a range of European countries representing different replacement regimes. We demonstrate that for many countries net migration has become a key factor in their population trends during the last few decades.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “On 19 and 20 July 2012, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organized a Roundtable on Temporary Protection, held in San Remo, Italy, with the support of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL). Participants included 19 experts from 15 countries, drawn from NGOs, academia and regional and international organizations. A discussion paper, produced by UNHCR, informed the discussion.1 The roundtable aimed to discuss the scope and meaning of temporary protection, and to examine what it is or should be, what it does or should guarantee, and in what situations it could apply.

    The following summary does not necessarily represent the individual views of participants or of UNHCR, but reflects broadly the themes, issues and understandings emerging from the discussion. ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Marriages of convenience have become a central concern in political debates about immigration policy. According to Norwegian regulations, the right to marriage migration only applies to ‘real’ relationships. The notion of a real or genuine marriage, as opposed to a marriage of convenience, raises the question of what characterises a legitimate intimate relationship. Based on interviews with the parties involved, this article investigates how marriage migrants and their partners perceive the application process for marriage migration to Norway, and how they are affected by the idea of marriages of convenience. It argues that the scholarly literature on contemporary intimate relationships is relevant to studies of migration and provides important insights into the narratives of marriage migrants and their partners. On the one hand, ‘the pure relationship’ seems to be one standard against which cross-border marriages are sometimes judged. On the other hand, the ideal of the pure relationship is also used by marriage migrants and their partners to question immigration regulations. The pure relationship is one, but far from the only, normative ideal present in the narratives of my interviewees. Interviewees draw on several different, and sometimes contradictory, norms, ideals and narratives of intimacy when they talk about and justify their own relationships, after being confronted with the immigration regulation’s requirement for a ‘real marriage’.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Return migration has recently become an important topic of research within the gender and migration literature. Drawing on multi-sited ethnographic research carried out in Romania and Italy, this paper focuses on the gendered patterns of return, highlighting the relationship between the motivation to return, family life plans, challenges and individual responses to structural factors that shape the decision to return. Based primarily on participant observation and in-depth interviews with women and men from a Romanian village, the findings suggest competing ways in which men and women resettle in their community. While men transfer large amounts of money and make use of their new skills and their contacts with their Romanian peers in Italy in order to gain their livelihoods in the village, women encounter conditions that are deterrents to such economic transfers. Women tend, therefore, to maintain contact with Italian families as an alternative to their imperfect economic reintegration into the village.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Most HIV-infected parents in Western Europe are of African origin. They face a range of problems while adapting to a new culture and previous research has highlighted the lack of studies on how to support them. In order to deepen our understanding of how they experience their parenthood, we conducted qualitative interviews with 12 HIV-infected Ugandan parents. All participants had access to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment and, as they continued to feel healthy, they tended to be less worried about leaving their children as orphans. We found that the parenting roles of these people undergo radical transformations, where fathers are expected to perform traditionally female tasks, and mothers are expected to take part in important family decisions with their husbands. An ‘African-Swedish method’ was described where parents had integrated a Swedish way of talking and being close to their children while retaining what they described as the Ugandan style of not informing their children about HIV. Healthcare personnel need to appreciate these HIV-infected African parents’ cultural dilemmas and adapt medical information accordingly. We discuss our results from three dimensions of cultural variability: femininity–masculinity, power distance and individualism–collectivism.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Geographers have a long-standing interest in citizenship as the link between political and territorial membership. Yet, even when key political processes associated with citizenship, such as voting or lobbying government institutions are carried out from beyond the territory there is a more complex relationship with territory than the simple ‘inside/outside’ division that external voting suggests. This article develops a specifically geographical analysis of the territorial context of voting practices. Although a number of general explanations have been offered for the introduction of external voting, and for the nature of the systems introduced it seems that contextual, country-specific factors concerning the history and nature of the relationship between the government and emigrant groups are usually determinant. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The targeting of criminal offenders for removal has become one of the central priorities of contemporary immigration enforcement in the USA. Scholars have rightly highlighted the importance of a series of laws passed during the 1990s, in particular the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Criminal Responsibility Act, in laying the foundations for this targeting of immigrants. These laws increased the penalties for breaching US immigration laws and expanded the class of non-citizens who could be deported for committing crimes. In this article, I draw attention to an earlier immigration law that has played a key, but less studied, role in laying the groundwork for the contemporary policing and removal of immigrants: the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). IRCA is well-known for having criminalized the hiring of undocumented workers, increasing the resources of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to patrol the nation’s borders, and providing undocumented immigrants with a path toward legalization. But the law also contained a small provision that required the US Attorney General to deport non-citizens convicted of removable offenses as expeditiously as possible. This provision dealing with the removal of ‘criminal aliens’ has turned out to be of monumental significance. In many ways, it has helped to dramatically shape the nature of contemporary immigration enforcement. IRCA basically helped set in motion the contemporary practice of targeting ‘criminal aliens’ for deportation. In turn, this practice has morphed into a mechanism for policing immigrant ‘illegality’ more generally. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article is concerned with the role of debt in contemporary practices of mobility. It explores how the phenomenon of debt-financed migration disturbs the trafficking/smuggling, illegal/legal, and forced/voluntary dyads that are widely used to make sense of migration and troubles the liberal construction of ‘freedom’ and ‘slavery’ as oppositional categories. The research literature reveals that while debt can lock migrants into highly asymmetrical, personalistic, and often violent relations of power and dependency sometimes for several years, it is also a means by which many seek to extend and secure their future freedoms. Financing migration through debt can be an active choice without also being a ‘voluntary’ or ‘autonomous’ choice, and migrants’ decisions to take on debts that will imply heavy restrictions on their freedom are taken in the context of migration and other policies that severely constrain their alternatives. Vulnerability to abuse and exploitation is also politically constructed, and even migrant-debtors whose movement is state sanctioned often lack protections both as workers and as debtors. Indeed, large numbers of migrants are excluded from the rights and freedoms that in theory constitute the opposite of slavery. As argued in the conclusion, this illustrates the contemporary relevance of Losurdo’s historical account of the fundamentally illiberal realities of self-conceived liberal societies. There remain ‘exclusion clauses’ in the social contract that supposedly affords universal equality and freedom, clauses that are of enormous consequence for many groups of migrants, and that also deleteriously affect those citizens who are poor and/or otherwise marginalized. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The efforts of new, former refugee communities to grow their legitimacy as citizens often in hostile host environments puts community needs at odds with individual needs. From an analysis of interviews with service providers across two states in Australia, and borrowing the concept of ‘papering over’, we demonstrate how these tensions impact on women in these communities building resilience to domestic violence. Despite community being vital for building individual resilience, ‘papering over’ operates to keep communities quiet about domestic violence and reliant on definitions of violence that serve to save the face of communities. While this is a challenge for how former refugee communities respond to domestic violence, it is also a challenge for how we conceptualize resilience across intersecting subject positions. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • We examine the gap in registered crime between the children of immigrants and the children of native Swedes. We follow all individuals who completed compulsory schooling during the period 1990–93 in the Stockholm Metropolitan area (N = 63,462) up to their thirties and analyse how family of origin and neighbourhood segregation during adolescence, subsequent to arriving in Sweden, influence the gap in recorded crimes. For males, we are able to explain between half and three-quarters of the gap in crime by reference to parental socio-economic resources and neighbourhood segregation. For females, we can explain even more, sometimes the entire gap. In addition, we tentatively examine the role of co-nationality or culture by comparing the crime rates of randomly chosen pairs of individuals originating from the same country. We find only a small correlation in the crime of individuals who share the same origin, indicating that culture is unlikely to be a strong cause of crime among immigrants.

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The central message of Hannah McGlade’s book, Our Greatest Challenge, is this: ‘Addressing child sexual abuse means we need to reject the gammon culture of human rights that has become prevalent in Aboriginal human rights discourse’ (p. 224, emphasis in original).

    ‘Gammon’ is an Australian Aboriginal word, meaning ‘fraudulent or inauthentic’. This is a brave thing to say in the context of twenty-first-century sensitivities surrounding any discussion of Aboriginal cultures and human rights in Australia. It is probably something that can only be said by an Indigenous Australian and it gains credibility when the speaker is herself both a human rights lawyer and a survivor of child sexual abuse. If there is any residual doubt among liberal-minded academics about the extent of child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities, they will be dispelled once and for all by this book. Whether or not child sexual abuse is any more endemic in Indigenous than non-Indigenous communities is not really the point. The point is that one cannot imagine a judge in 2001 saying of a 50-year-old non-Indigenous defendant, accused of the brutal beating and rape of a 15-year-old girl, that he was surprised he had been charged at all because ‘she [the victim] didn’t need protection … she knew what was expected of her’ (p. 145) having been ‘promised’ to him as his wife by her parents and his community. But this, McGlade tells us, is what was said about an Indigenous man, Jackie Pascoe Jamilmira, in the Northern Territory Supreme Court. Although the case caused widespread outrage, McGlade demonstrates that it … ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In this article, I contend that asylum should at times act as a form of reparation for past injustice. This function, I argue, stems from states’ special obligation to provide asylum to refugees for whose lack of state protection they are responsible. After suggesting that the development of a theory of asylum as reparation necessitates a diachronic approach, I outline the conditions under which asylum should function reparatively, and draw on the reparations framework within international law to suggest that asylum can provide refugees with meaningful restitution, compensation and satisfaction. In particular, I seek to identify the conditions under which asylum constitutes the most fitting form of reparation for the harm of refugeehood that is available to states. Finally, I explore the question of how direct the causal link between a state’s actions and a refugee’s flight must be for the former to owe asylum to the latter.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “It seems hard to believe that a simple scarf covering women’s hair could stir up so much controversy. But it has done just that time and again in Europe since three girls were expelled from secondary school for refusing to uncover in the French town of Creil in 1989. Thus, we should welcome sophisticated scholarly analysis of the highly salient and complex issue of permitting or banning veiling. Just such analysis does Politics, Religion, and Gender: Framing and Regulating the Veil provide.

    The book represents the final outcome of VEIL, a research project funded by the European Commission from 2006 to 2009, which compared policy regarding veiling in eight countries (Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the UK). Herein lies one important strength of Politics, Religion, and Gender (which includes a chapter on Bulgaria as well). The edited volume analyzes a far broader range of policies than the arguably more readable single-author studies concentrating on one country, such as John Bowen’s Why the French Don’t Like Headscarves (2006) or Joan Scott’s The Politics of the Veil (2007), which also spotlights France, or even Christian Joppke’s Veil: Mirror of Identity (2009), … ”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Jorge Duany is one of the most thoughtful, incisive, and prolific social scientists writing about the Caribbean and Blurred Borders: Transnational Migration between the Hispanic Caribbean and the United States (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) is an excellent example of why. The book describes the unique and evolving relationship between the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and the USA, the unique relationships between Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, the grounding of populations and diasporas in the continental USA, and the enduring and sustained nature of ties and contacts between sending and receiving countries and communities. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Scholars of memory have traditionally relied on their geographic imaginations in their attempts to illuminate the content and effects of both individual and collective memories. This tendency makes sense if we remind ourselves of the intimate relationship of place and memory in the numerous practices that try to locate the past in material and spatial traces: we visit memorials, look at photo albums, comb through archives, hold on to objects, and tour the sites of past events. However, linking the study of memory to the stability of place also has analytical and evaluative functions as it frequently provides the benchmark to differentiate ‘real’ memory from artificial memory, memory from history, and communities (of memory) from society, an inclination probably most powerfully exemplified in Nora’s (1989) influential notion of authentic ‘environments of memory’. Moreover, this priority given to location and the static focus on original events within spatially delineated communities generally goes hand in hand with monolithic views of belonging, often based on homogenous and overly simplified foundation myths. To put it starkly, the role of memory as a ‘handmaiden of nationalist zeal’ (Olick 2003: 1) has traditionally left little room to address the reality of demographic changes within national contexts or to pose normative challenges to culturally narrow views of political membership. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In many globalising cities across Asia, migration is now viewed as a key measure to tackle labour shortages, population ageing, and economic competitiveness. Singapore presents an example of a city-state that has become increasingly reliant on both high-skilled and low-skilled labour migrations, and to an increasing degree, also marriage migration, to fuel its bid to become a cosmopolis occupying a significant site in the globalised economy. The article discusses both state and civil society arrangements and relationships which, to different extents and in different ways, present opportunities for and constraints upon the emergence of cosmopolitanism. While Singapore’s migration history and multi-racial legacy provide a possible framework to build cosmopolitan sensibilities, it charts a pathway ridden with considerable contradictions as the city-state forges its own globalised future. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article reviews the debate on economic and social consequences of immigrant entrepreneurship as well as theories advanced to explain different levels of self-employment among immigrant and ethnic minorities. We examine the impact of professional and entrepreneurial migration on sending countries from the viewpoint of traditional theories of the brain drain as well as from that of the more recent transnational perspective. Finally, we present the latest data on the effects of self-employment on income levels for various immigrant and ethnic groups. Results confirm the conclusion of a consistently positive net effect, both for annual incomes and hourly earnings. Implications of these results for theories of immigrant adaptation and policies implemented by sending and receiving countries are discussed. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article makes two contributions to the literature on the determinants of international migration flows. First, we compile a new dataset on annual bilateral migration flows covering 15 OECD destination countries and 120 sending countries for the period 1980–2006. The dataset also contains data on time-varying immigration policies that regulate the entry of immigrants in our destination countries over this period. Second, we present an empirical model of migration choice across multiple destinations that allows for unobserved individual heterogeneity and derive a structural estimating equation. Our estimates show that international migration flows are highly responsive to income per capita at destination. This elasticity is twice as high for within-European Union (EU) migration, reflecting the higher degree of labor mobility within the EU. We also find that tightening of laws regulating immigrant entry reduce rapidly and significantly their flow. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This article contends that our ability to study migration is significantly enhanced by carefully conceived comparative research designs. Comparing and contrasting a small number of cases—meaningful, complex structures, institutions, collectives, and/or configurations of events—is a creative strategy of analytical elaboration through research design. As such, comparative migration studies are characterized by their research design and conceptual focus on cases, not by a particular type of data. I outline some reasons why scholars should engage in comparison and discuss some challenges in doing so. I survey major comparative strategies in migration research, including between groups, places, time periods, and institutions, and I highlight how decisions about case selection are part and parcel of theory-building and theory evaluation. Comparative research design involves a decision over what to compare—what is the general class of ‘cases’ in a study—and how to compare, a choice about the comparative logics that drive the selection of specific cases. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “States and refugee advocates often insist that ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ are separate distinct categories, despite ample evidence that these labels blur in practice. However, little attention is paid to the fact that in the past refugees were considered as migrants, with international attention focusing on securing their access to existing migration channels. This article traces this tangled history of refugee and migrant identities through the 1920s to the 1950s, when ‘refugee’ and ‘migrant’ categories were separated. The article argues that treating refugees as migrants in the 1920s and 1930s failed to ensure their protection from persecution because their admission was entirely dependent upon economic criteria. Separating refugees from migrants in the 1950s—by providing refugees with an exceptional right to cross borders and claim asylum—helped to address this protection gap. However, the article shows that in creating a special route for admission deliberately set apart from migration, the humanitarian discourse that protects refugees from harm actually prevents refugees from finding durable solutions, which depend upon securing an economic livelihood and not just receiving humanitarian assistance. The article concludes that, in the interests of refugee solutions, the extent of separation between refugee protection and access to migration should be reversed. Refugee advocates should reconsider the many innovative lessons both from the Nansen era and the decade of experimentation that preceded the establishment of today’s contemporary refugee protection framework in 1951. While asylum and the ‘refugee’ category perform essential roles in admitting those in need of international protection, asylum alone—unlike migration—cannot meet long-term needs. Reconfiguring understandings of on-going refugee protection to facilitate movement and prioritize the securing of sustainable livelihoods would both better reflect the reality of people’s movements in conflict and crisis and offer more opportunities for durable solutions to protracted crises. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Migration studies is entering a new era. The intellectual roots of the field stretch back at least to the nineteenth century, since which time it has focused on the drivers of human mobility and the processes of adaptation that follow. But never before has it drawn such sustained attention from so many researchers across such a broad range of backgrounds. Migration is becoming an increasingly visible and important element of human experience, and more than ever before, migration studies is becoming a distinctive and integrated field of scholarship, with its own approaches and institutions. This journal is being established to help galvanize the field still further. It aims to provide an interdisciplinary forum for leading research that develops the core concepts, data, and methods needed by migration scholars in the twenty-first century and beyond. It has several specific priorities. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This paper considers the claim that ideas and practices of international development, including community development, are embedded in Western notions of how to organize society. It elucidates some of the main precepts of the westernization thesis, and drawing on several studies of community development projects in Indonesia, it investigates what elements might be considered as ‘Western’ and whether the adoption of so-called Western ways is the result of the dominating power of international agencies or a pragmatic choice of active agents. The paper argues that the westernization thesis is problematic and does little to help us understand the complex interactions involving change at the community level. From a community development perspective, the question of whether the themes of westernization are appropriate is not a matter of the views of outside experts, but whether they are of use to the people at the grassroots in their collective endeavours. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “For refugee communities in the global South, mutual assistance plays a vital role in their economic survival during exile. While the practice of refugees’ informal support tends to be perceived as a positive symptom of their communal solidarity, the important question arises whether such a view still holds legitimacy even in the severe scarcity of available resources within their communities. In the Buduburam refugee settlement in Ghana, the transfer and exchange of resources between different households were essential for the survival of many poor refugee families in the face of decreasing donor support. In particular, there was a strong moral responsibility among the inhabitants for assisting destitute fellow refugees. Although their mutual support networks give the impression of unity within this refugee population, the practice of assisting others was not always carried out in harmonious ways. Especially so when someone had inadequate resources, the obligation to help others generated significant stress in caregivers and often even engendered negative feelings against recipients of internal help. By means of in-depth case studies, the article will delve into the social dynamics hidden in the mutual sharing arrangements in this refugee community and will particularly elucidate the emotional conflicts in internal sponsors. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “In 2009, after extremely severe bushfires in Victoria, Australia, social welfare agencies initiated recovery programmes. This paper examines the role played by three Catholic agencies over a three-year period as they sought to meet the needs of the bushfire-affected community in the recovery process. The recovery programmes began with the aim of using a community development approach to develop a sustainable response. The concept of community development was not defined at the commencement of the project so that there was flexibility in the way it was operationalized. The approach changed over time in response to changing conditions and the needs and responses of the community. After initially adopting the role of provider, the agencies increasingly adopted the roles of ally, facilitator and advocate. Not all projects received support from the community and others that were initially supported withered over time. The advocacy and capacity building work undertaken by the workers enabled community members to take a greater responsibility for existing and new projects. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “This paper examines the potential of rotating savings and credit associations (RoSCAs) as agents of pro-poor community development and well-being in rural northern Rwanda, the area most severely disrupted during and since the civil war and genocide in the 1990s. The economic gains of membership, effects on social capital, and the inclusiveness of RoSCAs are explored. RoSCAs facilitate mobilization of a variety of resources. Members pool finances that are utilized to support the fulfilment of basic needs at the household level, in addition to building up assets. Social capital is both inherent to and stimulated by membership of a RoSCA, through the building of trust, collective actions undertaken, and the values shared by the members. RoSCAs were found to be relatively inclusive, particularly when compared with more formal credit schemes, often including representatives of the most marginalized, and therefore most vulnerable, socio-economic categories. Membership generally involves relatively small payments while contributing to positive subjective perception as well, thus fostering further human well-being. RoSCAs therefore warrant appraisal beyond the immediate financial opportunities they generate, because of their production and reproduction of values such as democracy, reciprocity, and solidarity, and thus their significant contribution to community development and human well-being. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The challenges of participatory development suggest an explicit role for community development practitioners as ‘translation agents’ across different institutional contexts. This paper illustrates this role in three case studies of rural community development projects in post-war Ethiopia. The case studies highlight the value of local community knowledge and institutions in tackling key development issues: from small-farm productivity, to water access, to animal health. They also demonstrate the frequent need for translation and mediation between community knowledges and institutions and those of outside organizations and professionals. This paper analyses the case studies to show how community development practitioners working in the field can play a central role in creating truly participatory development spaces. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “Research on a range of agreements between Indigenous people and extractive industries suggests that equitable benefits from such activity on Indigenous land are rare. In Central Australia, the Central Land Council has piloted a new approach to generating benefits from land use agreements by establishing a community development unit and encouraging Indigenous traditional owners to apply some of the income from land use agreements with mining companies and similar parties to community development activities. This paper discusses the variety of community development projects this unit is undertaking with traditional owners and Aboriginal community members, and the challenges it is facing as it tries to utilize community development principles in its projects. It indicates some of the issues that may need to be considered in government policy which seeks to assist Indigenous landholders gain optimum benefit from land-related payments. In particular, the paper demonstrates that the priorities of Indigenous people to support and promote social and cultural activities, including maintaining micro-communities (outstations) on homelands, may conflict with government views as to how to ‘optimize benefits’ from land use agreements. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “International voluntary service involving people from ‘northern’ countries represents a widespread and growing phenomenon on the African continent, prompting increased interest in the effects of international service on volunteers. Despite this trend, little research has been conducted on the contribution of international service to the development of the host organizations and communities where volunteers live and serve. Drawing on interviews and focus groups conducted with international volunteer host organizations in Tanzania and Mozambique, this paper examines the benefits and challenges for international service to contribute to the development of host organizations and communities. Findings suggest a range of positive benefits to host organizations. However, they also highlight a number of challenges that require additional measures to strengthen the potential benefits of international service. These include a greater critical consciousness of the imbalances between African host and northern sending countries, locating international voluntary service in the context of a colonial legacy, and strategically hosting volunteers in the context of financial and human resource constraints. “

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “The post-Cold War era has seen the increased significance of moral argument as a force in international relations. Arguments such as those developed in Michael Walzer’s Just and Unjust Wars have shaped debates about the relative weights to be given to non-intervention and human rights as core values of international law over the past three decades. This article analyses the form of moral internationalism that is exemplified by Walzer’s work, and the ways in which that moral internationalism has sought to justify humanitarian intervention, foreign involvement in civil wars, regime change, and, most recently, the responsibility to protect concept. It concludes by exploring the political stakes of the turn to what Walzer calls ‘practical morality’ as a basis for reforming international institutions and laws, and the ways in which new forms of internationalism are redrawing the realism/moralism map.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

  • “For Michael Walzer, arguing about war is political rather than philosophical, a matter of persuasion rather than proof. His discussion of humanitarian intervention since the publication of Just and Unjust Wars tracks political events and debates, including the transformation of a debate focused on the right to intervene into one about situations, like those in Rwanda and Libya, in which it might be wrong not to intervene. If there is a duty to thwart atrocities, based on a responsibility to protect, one must consider on whom the duty to intervene falls, whether it goes beyond rescue to repairing the harm or preventing further violence, and whether it might also extend to protecting people from other harms, at least when these are the result of violence. In discussing these issues, Walzer deepens our understanding of humanitarian intervention by treating it both as an aspect of just war theory and as a historic practice able to reconcile the rights of states and persons in the changing circumstances of political choice.”

    tags: newjournalarticles

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