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SP25 - Overcoming forced displacement and envisaging translocal development. Revisiting durable solutions and approaches towards global refugee crises

Convened by Palash Kamruzzaman (University of South Wales, UK), Benjamin Etzold (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC), Germany) and Bulbul Siddiqi (North South University, Bangladesh)

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According to the UNHCR (2022), more than 100 million people have been forced to flee globally. While most of them have been displaced within their country of origin, even more people have crossed international borders in the search for protection and a more secure future.

Current scholarship and practice offer comprehensive insights on what makes people forcibly displaced or refugees, their treacherous journeys to seek refuge, and the often highly precarious living conditions they are confronted with after being displaced. In contrast, little is known about the decisive role and the daily challenges of the local communities that are ‘hosting’ displaced people. There is a growing awareness among the practitioners as well as academic scholars that the perceptions and attitudes of host communities can significantly impact the everyday lives of the refugees and in fostering social inclusion or driving exclusion. The transnational networks of displaced people themselves, be it to family members or diaspora groups in other countries, is another research angle that is hardly taken. Recent research highlighted the potential that lies in displaced people’s connectivity beyond their places of living and how the refugees resort to mobility and their own personal networks for help in highly challenging conditions to overcome those in the longer run. Looking at the refugee crises through the lenses of the host communities, mobility of the refugees and their transnational networks might open the space for multiple solutions to displacement and manifold options for translocal development that lie beyond conventional theory and practice.

This panel invites research papers that ask new questions on the relations between displacement and development, and between place-based solutions and opportunities that emerge in a transnational space. We seek empirically-grounded contributions that challenge conventional wisdom towards the global refugee crises and that explore potentially innovative and effective ways forward.