People on the Move:
An Exploration of Global Displacement and the Refugee Crisis
Department of International Studies at Wilkinson College
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
People on the Move: An Exploration of Global Displacement and the Refugee Crisis
The past decade has seen an upturn in global complex humanitarian emergencies. Armed conflict, authoritarian governance, human rights violations, natural disasters, and environmental deterioration spiral into complicated panoramas of widespread human suffering and displacement. Such immediate crises are laid on top more chronic and structurally-rooted issues of poverty and inequalities linked to racial/ethnic, gender, and religious identities. The response led by Global North governments, international organizations, and large NGOs has been one of increasingly multi-faceted, highly technical, top-down interventions in which humanitarian and development goals overlap with securitization agendas. Large-scale flows of migrants and refugees are reshaping both sending and receiving countries.
Widely absent from such interventions have been the experiences, and perspectives of those most directly impacted by conflicts and crises of warfare, displacement, and forced migration. This conference seeks to center such often marginalized voices to unearth the underlying motivations and under-acknowledged outcomes of global humanitarian and military interventions. This conference explores in ways in which “doing good” can also lead to doing harm.
It asks how do belief systems—inclusive neoliberalism, racialized and gendered representations of the Global South, rescue tropes—underlie such interventions? It interrogates concepts of national security, national interests, national identities, and citizenship and their roles in shaping these new forms of intervention. It seeks to locate such interventions in a wider global political economy and examines their embodied material consequences.
Themes of this conference include:
- root causes of human displacement and migrant and refugee flows
- the ideologies and policies that shape responses to human displacement
- ways in which migrant and refugee movements are re-shaping the nation-state
- how collective identities shape the displacement experience
- the political economy of human displacement
- the perspectives, goals, and voices of migrants and refugees