Refugee Studies Centre: An introduction

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  • 1. Refugee Studies CentreAn introduction
  • 2. Overview Studying in Oxford About the Refugee Studies Centre Refugee and Forced Migration Studies
  • 3. Studying in Oxford 9,621postgraduates 11,752 undergraduates
  • 4. Studying in Oxford 45%postgraduates
  • 5. Studying in Oxford 61%non-UK
  • 6. Studying in Oxford
  • 7. Studying in Oxford
  • 8. Refugee Studies CentreFounded by Barbara Harrell-Bond in 1982, the RSCpioneered a new field of academic study: Causes and consequences of forced migration Legal and normative framework Humanitarian responseMission: To build knowledge and understanding of the causes andeffects of forced migration in order to help improve the lives of some ofthe world’s most vulnerable people.
  • 9. RSC timeline 1982 1990 Founded by Barbara First Summer School Harrell-Bond1980 1985 1990 1995 1987 Foundation Course in Refugee Studies established Refugee Participation Network (RPN) Newsletter launched
  • 10. RSC timeline 2002 2012 Awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Secured fourth permanent post, a Education in recognition of the RSC’s pioneering research and Lecturership in International innovative training programmes Human Rights and Refugee Law 2000 2005 2010 1998 RPN Newsletter re-launched as Forced Migration ReviewMaster’s in Forced Migration offered for the first time replacing Foundation Course
  • 11. RSC activitiesThe Centre focusses on three interrelated activities:Research – providing multidisciplinary, independent and criticalscholarship on factors determining and resulting from the forceddisplacement of populationsTeaching – supporting and developing the next generation ofscholars and thinkersDissemination – promoting influential engagement with a fullrange of academics, policymakers and practitioners
  • 12. Research Emphasising multi-disciplinary and independent thinking and the centrality of international human rights and refugee law Creating a body of concepts based on systematic inquiry to influence academic, policy and practice agendas Challenging the refugee victim stereotype through the contestation of passive victimhood and a contemporary focus on rights, resilience and the agency of refugees Giving voice to some of most marginalised and rights-deprived communities in the world Engaging the international humanitarian community by linking scholarship to policy and practice and enhancing capacity
  • 13. Current projects Research projects grouped into three general themes: Drivers, Governance and Experiences What drives forced migration and how do the drivers change over time? What spaces and opportunities exist for forced migrants to influence and change the structures that govern them? How do individuals, groups and communities respond and adopted to the challenges posed by displacement? Over 20 current research projects addressing critical refugee and forced migration issues around the world including environmental change, conflict and humanitarian response
  • 14. Environmentally displaced people Led by Professor Roger Zetter and Dr James Morrissey First phase investigated capacity of national-level legal and normative frameworks and regional and international legal apparatus that might apply to displacement in a context of environmental change Issues were examined in four countries affected by slow-onset climate change conditions – rising sea levels in Bangladesh and Vietnam, and desertification in Kenya and Ghana Second phase aims to detail local level analysis of communities and households affected by climate and environmental change
  • 15. Mobile peoples and conservation Led by Professor Dawn Chatty RSC hosted event in Wadi Dana, Jordan, in 2002 which led to the Dana Declaration on Mobile Peoples and Conservation Declaration calls for recognition of the problems facing mobile peoples, the main barriers to improving their productivity and wellbeing and the lessons that can be learned from their way of life Became part of the Durban Accord in 2003 Endorsed by the world conservation body, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2008 Statement delivered to UN ‘Earth Summit’ in 2012 on behalf of Dana representatives
  • 16. The liberal state and expulsion ofmembers Led by Dr Matthew J Gibney Explores various incarnations that expulsion power takes in modern liberal states Attempts to show how new developments in identity politics and concerns over crime and terrorism in modern states fuel contemporary controversy over expulsion Main foci include: the history of banishment as a precursor of modern deportation power; denationalisation and the evolution of powers to strip citizenship in liberal states; and the evolution and legitimacy of deportation
  • 17. Humanitarian Innovation Project Led by Dr Alexander Betts with Naohiko Omata (Research Officer), Louise Bloom (Research Officer) and Mafalda Picarra (Project Coordinator) Explores the emerging way in which innovation can be harnessed to transform humanitarian assistance, particularly in relation to refugee protection On a practical level, the project aims to identify ways in which innovation, technology and the private sector can enhance refugees’ entitlements and opportunities within both emergency settings and protracted refugee situations On an academic level, the project aims to conceptualise the changing relationship between states, markets and international organisations in humanitarian governance
  • 18. In protracted limbo Led by Dr Nando Sigona with Dr Elaine Chase and Professor Robert Walker (Social Policy and Intervention) Explores gaps in theory and knowledge surrounding youth migration in the EU Aims to identify the implications for contemporary national and international policy governing the treatment and support of young people subject to immigration control across the EU Majority of young adults who previously entered Europe as independent migrant children are denied refugee status or humanitarian protection but afforded time-limited welfare support Once adults many end up in limbo – uncertain of whether or not they will be able to remain in the country of immigration/asylum and for how long
  • 19. Faith-based humanitarianism incontexts of forced migration Led by Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh Explores the motivations and practices of faith communities and faith-based organisations (FBOs) in their response to forced displacement around the world Although FBOs are often at the forefront of humanitarian responses, little is known about the scale, nature and impacts of their interventions. Currently collaborating with a ‘Joint Learning Initiative’ on ‘Local faith communities and resilience’ involving academics, policy makers, practitioners and representatives from a diversity of faith communities to explore the nature and impacts of initiatives developed by local faith communities in humanitarian situations
  • 20. Teaching MSc Refugee and Forced Migration Studies – interdisciplinary degree exploring forced migration through a thesis, a group research essay, and a range of required courses DPhil – currently over 20 doctoral students carrying out research under the supervision of RSC staff International Summer School in Forced Migration – fosters dialogue between academics, practitioners and policymakers working to improve the situation of refugees and other forced migrants Workshops – brings together a range of researchers, policy makers and practitioners to discuss emerging themes and issues RSC Library – RSC collections at the SSL form the largest collection of materials worldwide relating to the causes, experiences, consequences and implications of forced displacement
  • 21. Forced Migration Review Magazine published by the Refugee Studies Centre Most widely read publication on forced migration Available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, and free of charge in print and online“… sharp analysis of refugee-related issues in an attractive andaccessible format.”“Essential reading for all practitioners, researchers andpolicymakers working in the area of forced migration.”
  • 22. Policy Briefings andWorking Papers Policy Briefings (2-3/year) Provide policy-relevant research findings in an accessible format Seek to stimulate debates on issues of key interest to researchers, policy makers and practitioners Working Papers (8-10/year) Aid the rapid distribution of work in progress, research findings and special lectures Students who receive a distinction for their thesis given opportunity to publish in the series
  • 23. Forced Migration OnlineDigital Library contains over 5,500 full-text documents including greyliterature from the RSC library which can be searched and downloadedRegional/thematic research guides provide concise studies written byexperts in the fieldResource pages pinpoint key resources from all areas of the siterelating to major issuesMultimedia content including image library, videos and podcasts
  • 24. RSC website and social mediaRSC website – find out latest news as well as information about staff,research projects, events and publicationsSocial media – Facebook and Twitter profiles so you don’t miss thelatest news and updatesPodcasts – RSC Public Seminars and lectures are recorded and madeavailable as podcasts, accessible on FMO and the RSC website as wellas iTunes U and podcasts.ox.ac.uk (search: ‘refugee studies centre’)Videos – RSC interviews and other videos on Vimeo and YouTubechannels
  • 25. Why study refugees andforced migration?UNHCR Persons of concern 39.9m Year Millions World-wide total 1975 2.5 1994 27 displaced Results from conflict, repressive 1999 22 regimes, environmental change 2009 36 and development policies. 2010 34 Raises fundamental challenges for the international order. 2011 35** Requires informed reflection on **IDPs 15.5 historical, global and human Stateless 3.5 context. Palestinians 4.9
  • 26. World-wide displacementUNHCR global distribution of refugees, 2011Region MillionsAsia and Pacific 3.6 80% remain in region,Africa 2.7 50% urban, 33%MENA 1.7 encampedEurope 1.6 44% or refugees andAmericas 0.8 a/s are under 18TOTAL 10.4
  • 27. Who is a forced migrant?UNHCR Definitions Other definitions and categories Refugees UNRWA for Palestinians Asylum seekers Disaster displacement IDPs ‘Environmental refugees’ Development induced People of concern displacement Stateless persons
  • 28. Brief history Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4, Phase 5 1914-1939 Post WW2 1960-1990 1990s late 90s-21cEmergence of Institutionalisation: Refugees in the End of Cold War Fortress Mentality,Regime to care for the ‘51 South: Coping and ‘Complex Redefinition:the displaced Convention, with Crisis, ‘67 Emergencies’ Asylum/migration Instruments Protocol nexus, managing migration, the challenge of protection
  • 29. Contemporary challengesNorth South Globalisation of migration and Internal displacement asylum Protracted exile The demise of the refugee Peace building/post-conflict Challenge of protection reconstruction Humanitarian response Climate change
  • 30. Thank you