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.
In recent years there has been a marked increase in the number of referendums and public votes. Here in Britain, we have held some of the most headline-grabbing ones; the Brexit vote and the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence. More recently, there have been votes on immigration in Hungary, gay marriage in Australia and abortion in Ireland. Why have governments turned this form of public involvement? Is it a sign of populism? And what does it mean for representative democracy? Professor Matt Qvortrup will presents his findings based on more than 30 years of research in the field and his new publication Government by Referendum.
Life on the Breadline: Christianity, Poverty and Politics in the 21st Century city
The aim of the ‘Life on the Breadline…’ project is to understand how the social context resulting from the 'age of austerity' has affected Christian engagement with poverty in the UK and the theological motivations, which underpin it, in order to facilitate the development of better informed government policy and more effective faith-based activism thereby reducing urban social exclusion and inequality.
Rukshanda Naz Alumnus Reflection
I am an activist in the Pakistani women’s movement since the early 1990s. A lawyer by profession, I also worked with a number of NGOs on issues of violence against women and children and on women’s empowerment programs. My work for peace started with issues of Afghan Refugees and peace movements for India and Pakistan. As a professional, I have served one of the country’s leading civil society organizations for women’s rights, Aurat Foundation, as Resident Director from May 1993-May 2008 and Chief Operating Officer May 2008-Oct 2009.
Ernest Asigri Alumnus Reflection
I have over seventeen years of development management experience with specialties in Peacebuilding, Human Security and Refugee Livelihoods Sustainability. I’ve worked with a number of civil society and international organisations, including the UNDP both in Ghana and within the West African Sub-region. Currently I am working as the Programmes Manager at the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council...
Crisis, what crisis? Assessing international responses to refugees from 2010 to 2020
With around 22.5 million people are currently displaced across international borders by armed conflict, persecution or human rights violations and two thirds living in long-term, protracted displacement, there have been repeated political and media claims of an unprecedented ‘global refugee crisis’. But how useful is it to think of this as a global crisis? How have states and international organisations sought to address the issue? And what lies ahead for international politics and policy making?