New Journal Research Articles for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies 02/12/2016

  • “As United Nations (UN) peacekeeping evolved from interposition forces to multidimensional missions, the UN adjusted its peacekeeping principles and allowed a wider use of force. As the latest adjustment, the Security Council adopted a new mandate for UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo creating the ‘Force Intervention Brigade’, described as the first contingent of troops to conduct targeted offensive operations against armed groups. However, this role of the UN as an enforcement actor within a non-international armed conflict was not prepared by an assessment of the rules applicable to UN missions. These rules provide the Force Intervention Brigade with an ambiguous double status being at the same time a specially protected peacekeeping force and a party directly engaged in hostilities. As a consequence, peacekeeping missions as a whole are put at a higher risk of failing to perform their assigned mediation between the conflict parties and of themselves becoming the target of attacks. As a preliminary policy advice, I propose a clear distinction between peacekeeping and peace enforcement troops with a view to protect the peacekeeper’s perceived legitimacy and to reconcile the status of peace enforcement troops with the law applicable to the conflicts they, in fact, became a party to. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “The majority of Palestinians in Denmark have followed a route from villages in Palestine via camps in Lebanon to housing projects in Denmark. Whereas it is well known that the camps were modelled after the villages, it is less well known that the housing projects are referred to and enacted as camps. Based on fieldwork among Palestinians in the Danish camps, this article explores why my interlocutors describe their current lives as a catastrophe. Al-Nakba literally means the catastrophe and, in Palestinian national discourse, it is used to designate the event of 1948, when the Palestinians were expelled from their homeland. However, according to my interlocutors, al-Nakba never stopped, but continues in the present. To understand this phenomenon, I suggest that it is conducive to think of al-Nakba as a reverse national myth, a figure of un-becoming, which is replicated in the present. I argue that, unlike the spectacular catastrophes in Palestine and later in Lebanon, life in the Danish camps is characterized by minor mundane catastrophes that are each so small that they barely register or elicit a moral response, but nevertheless erode the lives of my interlocutors. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This paper analyzes the determinants of migration duration focusing on family composition and human capital. A utility maximization model is built to show that migrants face a trade-off between avoiding psychic costs from leaving family members and accumulating wealth to support their consumption. The empirical analysis on Mexican men’s US experience carried out using the hazard model shows that marriage and children, which imply a heavier financial burden, are negatively associated with migrants’ duration in the USA. Fathers with more young children under age 12 stay even shorter, because taking care of them is time intensive.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Inspired by the idea of safe citizenship this article queries the possibilities of safety in an age of securitization. It challenges the cosmopolitan worldview and its iteration of a global cosmopolitan citizen. It champions an account of affective citizenship, narration and attends to the trauma of exile. It offers an account of exile before suggesting an institutional design premised on politicization. This design, it is argued, facilitates moments of storytelling fostering individual empowerment. This unorthodox rendering of agency allows the traumatized exile to negotiate the world as it is, not as it could be, as a potential ‘safe’ citizen.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This article discusses asylum seekers and the right to work in the UK. Differential access to the labour market is one of the ways in which the state maintains a distinction between British citizens, who ‘belong’, and non-citizens who do not. While such a policy approach garners widespread support amongst the general public of citizens, it does not go uncontested. This article discusses a UK-based campaign, ‘Let Them Work’, which has sought to influence the government in extending the right to work to asylum seekers. In doing so, it demonstrates the ways in which the stratified regime of citizenship rights is contested politically, and explores how such contestation troubles the exclusive privileges of citizenship by enacting mobile solidarities from marginalised spaces.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This article aims to critically examine the development of alternatives to immigration detention policies. In the European Union, the emergence of alternatives to detention in the immigration framework is a relatively new phenomenon, strongly inspired by the criminal framework and enshrined in a movement of increased regulation of the immigration detention regime. Through promoting this notion, civil society has sought to engage in a constructive dialogue with States on the use of detention and the possibility to use less coercive and more human rights compliant approaches when dealing with migrants. In Europe, while these campaigns have yielded some positive results, one can question whether, when implemented, they have led to a humanisation of migration policies or, on the contrary, to an increase in the criminalisation of migrants. In view of the above, this article introduces briefly the different understandings of what are alternatives in the framework of immigration detention. Secondly, it analyses their current state of implementation in the EU European Union, both from the legal and political perspective. From this analysis, some opportunities and risks associated with such developments are presented. Finally, possible ways forward are proposed to support civil society’s positioning on this issue. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Border procedures have so far received little attention in the legal literature dealing with European asylum law. Literature on immigration detention in Europe has also neglected the use of detention in border procedures. This is remarkable because one of the reasons that Member States resort to border procedures can be traced back to the centrality of territorial presence within the modern State for the enjoyment of rights. The triangular relationship between an application for international protection, refusal of entry, and a deprivation of liberty has remained imprecise. This indeterminacy has had important repercussions for the way in which the right to liberty has been protected at the borders of Europe. However, the way in which the Recast Asylum Procedures Directive circumscribes Member States’ use of this procedure is unprecedented. This article uses the Dutch implementation of the Asylum Procedures Directive in order to unpack the above-mentioned triangular relationship between an application for international protection, refusal of entry, and a deprivation of liberty. It will show that European Union regulation in this area is distinctive because it entails recognition of the fact that, when it comes to the enforcement of migration control, individual rights are at stake. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This article critically assesses the amended European Union asylum detention framework. It traces the tension reflected in the regime between protection provision and administrative imperatives, such as migration management. The research argues that the amended legislation closely frames asylum detention. A coherent regional understanding of “alternatives to asylum detention” also emerges from the legal framework. These elements have the potential to advance protection of forced migrants at global and regional levels. However, European Union asylum law also carries within it the risk of undermining protection. The research explores in this respect the broadly phrased detention grounds and advances an interpretation on the basis of Member States’ international and regional (Council of Europe) legal obligations. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This article analyses the interaction between immigration detention and the notion of vulnerability. Vulnerability dominates the contemporary legal discourse and is particularly relevant in the context of deprivation of liberty. Despite its frequent use in international, European, and European Union (EU) legislation and jurisprudence, a clear definition is lacking. However, the EU asylum directives, and mainly the Recast Reception Conditions Directive, initiate an EU approach to vulnerability. Bearing in mind this context, the present article, first, critically analyses how the EU conceptualizes the notion of vulnerability and its relationship with the notion of special needs. It then assesses how vulnerability impacts immigration and asylum detention taking into account jurisprudence from the Human Rights Committee and the European Court of Human Rights, the recast EU asylum directives themselves as well as the EU Return Directive, as it applies in this context. More specifically, the article examines the influence of vulnerability on: detention decision-making, the method of imposition of an alternative to detention, detention conditions, and the implementation in practice of alternative measures. The analysis is enriched with empirical legal findings. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Detention poses a specific challenge to refugee protection; detained asylum-seekers risk not being able to file and meaningfully pursue their claim and benefit only from restrained social and economic rights. They pay a steep human cost. Courts, the legislature, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have made efforts to rationalise its use, with the aim to render it a truly exceptional measure of last resort. However, challenges remain and there are pitfalls in asylum detention regulation. One major challenge is non-implementation of legal guarantees in practice and insufficient control by the judge. This can nullify legal guarantees, especially in a highly sophisticated framework like European Union law, where individualisation and the necessity and proportionality requirements, are the elements that rationalise otherwise broadly phrased detention grounds. The misuse of alternatives to detention that have been established to rationalise the use of asylum detention is another, as they may paradoxically be used to enhance control over asylum-seekers instead. Finally, migration management imperatives pose distinct challenges to refugee protection, where asylum detention is used arbitrarily as a means to their end. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Consider the following example: A dark-skinned, female hospital technician was called to take a blood sample from a newborn. When she entered the room, the infant’s mother visibly recoiled, clutching her baby more tightly, and exclaimed, “I don’t want you touching my baby!” Witnessing the situation were a white social worker and a white nurse. The nurse quickly responded, “That’s OK, I’ll hold the baby while you draw the blood.” In anger, the technician turned and walked out of the patient’s room, without the blood sample. The social worker remained a silent bystander.

    In this commentary, we bring attention to the problem of racism in health care, and more specifically, racist acts toward health care workers. We want to highlight the relative paucity of literature in this area and to also call to action social work’s role in addressing this problem.

    Our example of a racist incident, one we suspect is quite common in health care, is reflective of a problem for all health care workers. A New York Times article by Dr. Pauline Chen (2013), titled “When the Patient Is Racist,” explores this very problem. Chen asked, “What does a doctor do if the patient discriminates?,” when, for example, a patient refuses medical treatment based on a physician’s racial identity. The question raises challenging ethical, legal, and professional dilemmas and also concerns about repeated psychic injuries for the physician. Kimani Paul-Emile (2012) argued that patients regularly refuse medical treatment based on the physician’s racial identity and that this is an “open secret” in the medical profession. How are they and other health care providers expected to respond in the face of a racial insult? But more to our point, what is social work’s role in these scenarios? Are we silent bystanders, contributing to the problem in the field … ”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Illegal immigration is a contentious issue on the American policy agenda. To understand the sources of public attitudes toward immigration, social scientists have focused attention on political factors such as party identification; they have also drawn on theories of intergroup contact to argue that contact with immigrants shapes immigration attitudes. Absent direct measures, contextual measures such as respondents’ ethnic milieu or proximity to salient geographic features (such as borders) have been used as proxies of contact. Such a research strategy still leaves the question unanswered – is it contact or context that really matters? Further, which context, and for whom? This article evaluates the effects of party identification, personal contact with undocumented immigrants, and contextual measures (county Hispanic population and proximity to the US–Mexico border) on American attitudes toward illegal immigration. It finds that contextual factors moderate the effects of political party identification on attitudes toward illegal immigration; personal contact has no effect. These findings challenge the assumption t”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Studies demonstrate a negative association between community ethnic diversity and indicators of social cohesion (especially attitudes towards neighbours and the community), suggesting diversity causes a decline in social cohesion. However, to date, the evidence for this claim is based solely on cross-sectional research. This article performs the first longitudinal test of the impact of diversity, applying fixed-effects modelling methods to three waves of panel data from the British Household Panel Survey, spanning a period of 18 years. Using an indicator of affective attachment, the findings suggest that changes in community diversity do lead to changes in attitudes towards the community. However, this effect differs by whether the change in diversity stems from a community increasing in diversity around individuals who do not move (stayers) or individuals moving into more or less diverse communities (movers). Increasing diversity undermines attitudes among stayers. Individuals who move from a diverse to a homogeneous community report improved attitudes. However, there is no effect among individuals who move from a homogeneous to a diverse community. This article provides strong evidence that the effect of community diversity is likely causal, but that prior preferences for/against out-group neighbours may condition diversity’s impact. It also demonstrates that multiple causal processes are in operation at the individual-level, occurring among both stayers and movers, which collectively contribute to the emergence of average cross-sectional differences in attitudes between communities. Unique insights into the causal impact of community disadvantage also emerge. “

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This essay examines a longstanding normative assumption in the historiography of slavery in the Atlantic world: that enslaved Africans and their American-born descendants were bought and sold as “commodities,” thereby “dehumanizing” them and treating them as things rather than as persons. Such claims have, indeed, helped historians conceptualize how New World slavery contributed to the ongoing development of global finance capitalism—namely, that slaves represented capital as well as labor. But the recurring paradigm of the “dehumanized” or “commodified” slave, I argue, obscures more than it reveals.

    This article suggests that historians of slavery must reconsider the “commodification” of enslaved humanity. In so doing, it offers three interrelated arguments: first, that scholarship on slavery has not adequately or coherently defined the precise mechanisms by which enslaved people were supposedly “commodified”; second, that the normative position implied by the insistence that persons were treated as things further mystifies or clouds our collective historical vision of enslavement; and third, that we should abandon a strictly Marxian conception of the commodity—and its close relation to notions of “social death”—in favor of Igor Kopytoff’s theory of the commodity-as-process. It puts forth in closing a reconstituted conceptualization of the slave relation wherein enslaved people are understood as thoroughly human. ”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This article provides new evidence on the economic assimilation of immigrants from the British Isles in Canada during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using data from the 1901 and 1911 censuses and a pseudo-cohort methodology, we estimate both entry and assimilation effects. We find a non-negligible decline in entry earnings among successive cohorts of British and Irish immigrants, previously overlooked in the literature. Our estimates also reveal that the economic performance for Irish and older British arrival cohorts was better than previously reported. Overall, slow economic assimilation and sparse occupational mobility of immigrants have been a long-standing issue in the Canadian labour market.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Since the development of the immigrant enclave thesis, there has been a disagreement regarding whether the immigrant enclave hurts or benefits individual immigrants’ earnings. The controversy mainly arises from the imprecise way by which enclave participation is measured and from the difference in performance between entrepreneurs and workers. This study uses data from the 2006 Census of Canada to examine how Chinese immigrants who participate in the mainstream economy and enclave economy differ in earnings. Using “the language used most often at work” to determine enclave participation, the study finds that actual and net earnings of Chinese immigrants in the enclave are lower than those of their counterparts in the mainstream economy. However, when the interaction between human capital and enclave participation is considered, human capital brings a net negative return to enclave participants, but at the same time, a positive effect associated with enclave participation. The positive effect may be understood as coming from unmeasured ethnic and cultural features of the enclave that provide a cushion to lessen the magnitude of income disadvantages in the enclave. The study suggests that there is evidence to support both sides of the debate: enclave participants have lower net returns, but the enclave provides a cushioning effect in reducing earnings disparities. The study suggests that integration policy towards immigrants may consider immigrant enclaves as providing some support to immigrants to soften some disadvantages, but enclaves do not offer the same opportunities as the mainstream economy.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Skilled migration is an increasingly important topic for both policy and research internationally. OECD governments in particular are wrestling with tensions between their desire to use skilled migration to be on the winning side in the ‘global war for talent’ and their pandering to and/or attempts to outflank rising xenophobia. One aspect that has received relatively little attention is skilled migration from the African Commonwealth to the UK, a situation in which skilled migrants have relatively high levels of linguistic capital in the language of the host country. We focus here on the case of Zimbabwe. In spite of its popular image as a failed state, Zimbabwe has an exceptionally strong educational tradition and high levels of literacy and fluency in English. Drawing on 20 in-depth interviews of Zimbabwean highly skilled migrants, we explore the specific ways in which the communicative competences of these migrants with high formal levels of English operate in complex ways to shape their employability strategies and outcomes. We offer two main findings: first, that a dichotomy exists between their high level formal linguistic competence and their ability to communicate in less formal interactions, which challenges their employability, at least when they first move to the UK; and second, that they also lack, at least initially, the competence to narrativise their employability in ways that are culturally appropriate in England. Thus, to realise the full potential of their high levels of human capital, they need to learn how to communicate competently in a very different social and occupational milieu. Some have achieved this, but others continue to struggle.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “A major question in labour market research is the extent to which discrimination in employments causes the disadvantages experienced by children of immigrants. This article contributes to the debate by utilising a correspondence test study in which pairs of equivalent résumés and cover letters—one with a Pakistani name and one with a Norwegian name—were sent in response to 900 job openings in the greater Oslo area. The results show that applicants with Norwegian names on average are 25 % more likely to receive a call back for a job interview than equally qualified applicants with Pakistani names. More refined analyses demonstrate that the effect of ethnic background on employment probabilities is larger among men than women and larger in the private sector than in the public sector, and important variations among the occupations included in the study are revealed. In an effort to separate the potentially conflating effects of gender and sector, all applications to gender-segregated occupations were removed from the analyses. Interestingly, the gender differences disappear when exclusively analysing discrimination in gender-integrated occupations by sector. In gender-integrated occupations in the private sector, the gender difference in fact is reversed, indicating that women with minority background are treated less favourably than are minority men in the private sector. These results suggest that the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and sector should be scrutinised more carefully in future field experiments.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “This paper presents findings from a study that investigated the experiences of the returning Ghanaian migrants from Libya during the Arab Spring of 2011. The study used qualitative methods to explore involuntary return and reintegration of migrants in a south–south migration framework. Information from semi-structured interviews of migrants from selected communities in Ghana in addition to data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were used. The objective of the study was to find out the major difficulties returnees faced in reintegrating into their societies of origin as a result of their hasty departure and to assert the factors that may influence reintegration. The study finds that the combination factors including of high levels of family dependence on returnees, weak governance and the absence of reintegration policies may foster re-emigration.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

  • “Based on in-depth interviews with highly skilled and business Turkish nationals (HSBTN) in Canada and Germany, this study aims to explore why HSBTN decide to move and whether migration policy differences among the countries of destination affect recent migration motivations of HSBTN. It mainly focuses on the reasons and rationale of HSBTN and their explanations. This study argues that the high skilled and business migrants in general and HSBTN in particular move internationally as a consequence of individual-level gain beyond economic prospects.”

    tags:newjournalarticles

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