New Journal Research Articles for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (weekly) (weekly)

  • Based on a qualitative study, this article explores post-migration mobility practices developed by Somali women and men who have settled in Europe. It focuses on the ‘politics of mobility’, considering cross-border mobility an unequally distributed resource through which people access different forms of capital, and thus an element of social differentiation. The article reveals that respondents invest resources in places other than those where they acquired them, benefiting from a favourable symbolic exchange rate between the different places. Furthermore, while a significant part of the economic, social and cultural capital of these migrants is acquired within ethnically diversified contexts, it is mostly reinvested in networks and places where their Somali ethnicity becomes an asset—either in ethnically homogeneous networks or in activities that address Somali people’s needs. Cross-border mobility, transnationality and ethnicity become core resources that enable these migrants to mobilise their capital where it can be valued most highly and to access advantageous social positions, thus fostering upward social mobility. The article argues that these strategies are less the result of an identity-based ethnic preference than a compensatory mechanism implemented by people who have few prospects of having their assets valued within the wider networks in their country of residence.


  • There is no empirical research on the school performance of children who live separated from their parents in sub-Saharan Africa—a major migrant sending region in the world. This study uses survey data from junior and secondary school children and youths in Ghana (N = 2760), Angola (N = 2243) and Nigeria (N = 2168) to examine how different transnational family formations such as internal or international parental absence accompanied by migration or divorce, who is the migrant parent and who is the caregiver, the stability of the caregiving arrangement and remittances relate with the school performance of children who stay behind. School performance is measured through an index of grades in language, mathematics and science. The results show that international parental migration (Ghana), the internal parental migration accompanied by divorce/separation (Nigeria) and migration of both parents (Ghana and Nigeria) are likely predictors for decreased school performance. No effects are observed when parents are abroad and divorced/separated, when only one parent migrates, when children are in a stable care arrangement or when children receive remittances or not. The analyses show that the overall relationship between parental absence and education varies by the transnational dimension being analysed and by context.


  • Gender justice in reparations for women requires that entrenched oppression or disadvantage suffered by women does not result in women being deprived of recognition as victims and of access to full and effective reparation. An idea has taken hold in both policy and academic inquiry that gender-just reparations should be ‘transformative’ rather than (merely) corrective or restorative. I question the most ambitiously transformative aims that seek to make reparations into an instrument of society-wide structural change. I suggest that this conception not only overreaches practically and politically but that it threatens to bypass or aims to displace reparative justice as a distinct and distinctly victim-centered imperative. In doing so, it demotes the importance of recognizing individual victims themselves, whose status as bearers of rights and subjects of justice depends crucially on their standing to claim accountability and repair for violations to their individual persons.


  • The question of victims and victimhood is a rarely addressed dilemma in transitional justice (TJ) discourse and practice. It is a complex and subjective term whose meaning seems to lie in the eye of the beholder. The concept is further complicated in multilayered political contexts that have had many regime changes. Given that the term is embedded in a country’s cultural, economic and social context, it is thus also political. The bigger question that arises then is whether to look at ‘victims’ and ‘victimhood’ as passive individuals or as active agents of change. This is arguably the quintessential question raised by a rights-based approach. Reflecting on my fieldwork in Kabul with war victims since 2008, I argue that this approach can play an important role in TJ discourse and practice in relation to victims.


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


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