The politics of migration, displacement and belonging among Afghans migrants and refugees in Europe and North America
Our research on Afghan experiences of displacement and migration focuses in the following issues: the politics of the migration, asylum and resettlement of Afghans in Europe and North America; Afghan journeys and migration into Europe and the engagement of recently arrived Afghans in Europe for peacebuilding and development in Afghanistan. We aim to examine the situate of the complex migration histories of Afghans who have recently migrated from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan within debates around the categorisation, intersectionality and development in migration.
Afghanistan has the second largest refugee population globally, around 2.7 million refugees according to UNHCR. Recent migration trends, eclipsed by the Syrian humanitarian crisis, point to two new trends: that increasingly more Afghans who had been living in Iran and Pakistan for many years, if not all their lives, are migrating out of the region. Secondly, Afghan middle classes are also leaving Afghanistan due to insecurity. In addition, the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has both contributed to refugee movements and has created a crisis of internal displacement exacerbated by refugee returns and deportations.
Yet, Afghan migration, particularly the recent displacement and migration trends, is understudied. Our research on the histories, journeys and experiences of Afghans in Turkey and Greece thus addresses an important geographical gap in research on Afghan migration and contributes to migration policy in its conceptualisation on migrant journeys, migrant decision making processes and categorisation of different forms and migration and displacement that challenge dominant policy discourses.
Based on this research, we are developing a research agenda that looks at the treatment of Afghans in Western countries and its consequences for development and peacebuilding in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is one of the least peaceful and developed nations in the world. We are interested understanding how, given their migration histories and reception conditions in Europe, view their relationship to Afghanistan and their prospects for contributing to bringing about peace and prosperity to the country. We aim to engage with European policies on Afghan asylum, migration and development.
The Big Question: What does populism really look like?
In the next of our Big Question public debate series we examine, ‘What does populism really look like?’ Following recent victories for the ‘Leave’ campaign in the Brexit vote and Donald Trump in the US elections and the seeming rise of the ‘populist’ agenda, we will examine both the causes and potential effects of the rise of populist views and their endorsement through these results.
Contesting Transitional Justice Conference
This one-day conference will bring together academics, doctoral students, practitioners and policymakers from across disciplines to engage with contemporary contestations on transitional justice in order to contribute to the ever-growing scholarship in this field.
CTPSR at the Guardian University Awards
Coventry University has been shortlisted for a prestigious award by the Guardian for the impact of its research shedding light on the dynamics of Europe’s migration crisis.
One World Media Awards
Katharine Jones has been invited to act as a judge for the One World Media Awards, Refugee Reporting category, 2017.