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Communities of Knowledge or Tyrannies of Partnership: Reflections on North-South Research Networks and the Dual Imperative

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Abstract

Networks and north–south partnerships have become prerequisites for much forced migration research funding. The objectives vary but usually include levelling the scholarly playing field, improving research quality, building southern capacity and relaying southern perspectives to northern policymakers. Reflecting on a decade’s work in Southern Africa, this article suggests such initiatives often fall short of their objectives due to both mundane reasons and fundamentally unequal resource endowments and incentive structures. Moreover, by pushing southern researchers towards policy-oriented research, filtering the voices heard on the global stage, and retaining ultimate authority over funding and research priorities, these networks risk entrenching the north–south dichotomies and imbalances they purport to address. While inequalities are rooted in an intransigent global political economy of knowledge production, the article nonetheless concludes with a series of practical steps for improving southern-generated research and future collaborations.

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... The challenges and opportunities associated with research partnerships have been an increasing focus in the field of refugee and forced migration studies for more than a decade (Landau 2012(Landau , 2019aMcGrath and Young 2019). While these partnerships can take many forms (Bradley 2007: 13), there has been a particular emphasis on partnerships between researchers in the global North and those in the global South. ...
... While noting the many potential benefits of North-South research partnerships, Landau (2012: 556) highlights that they 'often fall short of their promise'. Given the challenges that can arise from the asymmetries of power between partners in the global North and those in the global South, Landau (2012) famously raised the alarm that such approaches, however, well-intentioned, may ultimately manifest the 'tyrannies of partnership'. ...
... Chimni's call has been answered by many researchers based in the global North who have established long-standing, trust-based, and equitable research relationships in the contexts of the global South in which they work. Landau (2012Landau ( , 2019a cautions, however, that this call has not been universally answered. In fact, the growth of refugee and forced migration studies as a field, especially since 2015, coupled with the increased interest of donors in supporting research on refugee issues in the global South, may inadvertently reinforce and legitimize the restrictive policy priorities of states in the global North, which seek to contain refugees within the global South. ...
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There is a growing recognition in refugee and forced migration studies that research partnerships, especially those that cross geographies of the global North and global South, are both a blessing and a potential curse. They are a blessing as they encourage new approaches to the co-creation of knowledge, build solidarity networks, and leverage support for scholars based in the global South. But they can also be a curse as they typically function within and can inadvertently reproduce deeply embedded structures of inequality. Drawing on the results of a review of forced displacement research centres based in the global South and interviews with the directors of these centres, this article encourages a shift from focusing on research partnerships to an approach that supports the localization of knowledge production in refugee and forced migration studies. This approach seeks to change the structures of knowledge production, including direct funding to researchers and research centres based in the global South, an emphasis on the transfer of power to researchers in the South, a recognition of the diverse forms and sources of knowledge produced within the field, and an appreciation for the diverse understandings of success and impact across contexts.
... ose who are working in countries that are dealing with urgent social issues on a large scale may also feel a greater need to prioritize responding to these issues as part of their work (Banerjee, 2012). As is the case for university-community partnerships, there is an assumption that one party -in this case academics of the Global North -is engaged by the goal of theory development and the knowledge of discovery, whereas the other -academics from the Global Southbrings context, participants, or the application of theory to a particular setting (Landau, 2012). Critically, it is theory development that is viewed as the more valuable contribution and the greater level of engagement of the Southern partners is seen by some primarily as an opportunity for Northern academics to test their theories (Banerjee, 2012). ...
... e opportunity to attract new members to the network and to reach out to policymakers and NGOs was seen as a strong benefit. is may be particularly valuable to re-searchers in the North; past reviews of North-South partnerships suggest that this connection is particularly attractive for Northern partners (Landau, 2012). ...
... Although members perceived some benefits from contributing to the RRN, many noted that the benefits needed to be more tangible and relevant to their own agendas. Consistent with observations in other kinds of North-South partnerships (e.g., Landau, 2012), participants also noted that different kinds of financial resources were available in the Global North and Global South with sustainable long-term funding only available in the North while the South was largely limited to short-term funding. As a result, institutions in the Global South were unlikely to partner on larger long-term projects unless there was funding attached to them. ...
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Research partnerships are the foundation of successful engaged scholarship, which typically unites partners across disciplines, institutions, sectors, and countries. While rewarding and generative, these partnerships can also be challenging due to differences in expectations, power, and culture, and difficulties in trust and communication. This article reports on interviews with members of an international refugee research network about participating in global partnerships. Responses are interpreted in light of community university partnerships and South-North partnerships and suggest that both face many similar challenges arising out of structures and norms that privilege Northern, theory-based scholarship, institutions, and outcomes. Vigilance and awareness regarding context can help to confront these challenges. Moreover, global partnerships can benefit from strategies developed in the area of community university partnerships to facilitate trust, communication, and shared ownership of international research projects.
... Reflecting other recent analyses (e.g., [4,[28][29][30][31]), the above suggests something of the complexity of processes of health research capacity development, the many issues with which it engages, and the multiple pathways by which it may be supported. Landau, for example, notes the influence of "fundamentally unequal resource endowments and incentive structures" [28], p. 555 in undermining many well-intentioned initiatives, echoing two of the themes highlighted above. ...
... Reflecting other recent analyses (e.g., [4,[28][29][30][31]), the above suggests something of the complexity of processes of health research capacity development, the many issues with which it engages, and the multiple pathways by which it may be supported. Landau, for example, notes the influence of "fundamentally unequal resource endowments and incentive structures" [28], p. 555 in undermining many well-intentioned initiatives, echoing two of the themes highlighted above. He also reflects on the challenges in Southern researchers being encouraged to focus principally on policy-oriented research given the role of Northern players in shaping such policy agendas, and thus the difficulty of Southern voices retaining ultimate authority over funding and research priorities. ...
... He also reflects on the challenges in Southern researchers being encouraged to focus principally on policy-oriented research given the role of Northern players in shaping such policy agendas, and thus the difficulty of Southern voices retaining ultimate authority over funding and research priorities. We join with Landau in suggesting that technocratic strategies to address health research capacity development issues have typically ignored the realities of "the political economy of knowledge production" [28], p. 558 that shapes such efforts. In particular, reflecting upon the challenges and the documented experience of HRCS through the HGL work, we believe that there is a somewhat unique political economy influencing the shape of such efforts which has received inadequate recognition to date. ...
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Strengthening health research capacity in low- and middle-income countries remains a major policy goal. The Health Research Capacity Strengthening (HRCS) Global Learning (HGL) program of work documented experiences of HRCS across sub-Saharan Africa. We reviewed findings from HGL case studies and reflective papers regarding the dynamics of HRCS. Analysis was structured with respect to common challenges in such work, identified through a multi-dimensional scaling analysis of responses from 37 participants at the concluding symposium of the program of work. Symposium participants identified 10 distinct clusters of challenges: engaging researchers, policymakers, and donors; securing trust and cooperation; finding common interest; securing long-term funding; establishing sustainable models of capacity strengthening; ensuring Southern ownership; accommodating local health system priorities and constraints; addressing disincentives for academic engagement; establishing and retaining research teams; and sustaining mentorship and institutional support. Analysis links these challenges to three key and potentially competing drivers of the political economy of health research: an enduring model of independent researchers and research leaders, the globalization of knowledge and the linked mobility of (elite) individuals, and institutionalization of research within universities and research centres and, increasingly, national research and development agendas. We identify tensions between efforts to embrace the global 'Community of Science' and the promotion and protection of national and institutional agendas in an unequal global health research environment. A nuanced understanding of the dynamics and implications of the uneven global health research landscape is required, along with a willingness to explore pragmatic models that seek to balance these competing drivers.
... From an epistemological perspective, unequal power relations are (re) produced in knowledge creation about migration. While the majority of people in situations of forced migration live in the global south, most of the research funding, training, and publications are based in the global north (Chimni 1998;Bradley 2007;Landau 2012Landau , 2019. Researchers in areas most affected by displacement have the capacity and knowledge to undertake research, but lack human and financial resources to do so (Landau 2012). ...
... While the majority of people in situations of forced migration live in the global south, most of the research funding, training, and publications are based in the global north (Chimni 1998;Bradley 2007;Landau 2012Landau , 2019. Researchers in areas most affected by displacement have the capacity and knowledge to undertake research, but lack human and financial resources to do so (Landau 2012). Moreover, they face financial, linguistic, epistemological, and technical barriers to disseminating their knowledge. ...
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Migration research poses particular ethical challenges because of legal precarity, the criminalization and politicization of migration, and power asymmetries. This paper analyzes these challenges in relation to the ethical principles of voluntary, informed consent; protection of personal information; and minimizing harm. It shows how migration researchers — including those outside of academia — have attempted to address these ethical issues in their work, including through the recent adoption of a Code of Ethics by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM). However, gaps remain, particularly in relation to the intersection of procedural and relational ethics; specific ethical considerations of big data and macrocomparative analyses; localized meanings of ethics; and oversight of researchers collecting information outside of institutional ethics boards.
... Network, partnerships, and collaborations have become a prerequisite in funding calls for research on forced displacement (Bradley 2008;Landau 2012). Global north academic funding agencies (such as the UK research councils, EU, and the Research Council of Norway) often require an academic partner from the global south. ...
... Such initiatives increase the opportunity for south-north collaborations but the conditionalities and embedded power relations tend to cement global inequalities rather than challenge them (Sukarieh and Tannock 2019). Prior to the Syrian refugee crisis, there was already a rich critique of knowledge production and power dynamics in refugee research between global north and south where the scale tips in favour of academics in the global north (Nagar and Ali 2003;Barrett et al. 2011;Landau 2012;Dolan et al. 2016;McGrath and Young 2019). The Syrian crisis and increased movement towards Europe led to more research interest, funding opportunities, and numerous research projects addressing the Syrian refugee crisis. ...
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Research collaborations between global north and south have a long history in studies of forced migration, and discussions of power relations in such research relationships have existed for a long time. We are two researchers working across the global south–north divide, and this article reflects on our attempt to navigate the research industry amid the ‘Syrian refugee research complex’. We discuss our attempt to carve out a space for more equitable research collaborations across the north–south divide and between partners. We unpack the existing power dynamics and the systems attached to them, e.g. institutional constraints, funding regulations, budget restrictions, and residues of post-colonial power dynamics. We then reflect on how these dynamics help to maintain the north’s hegemony in the research and knowledge production cycle. We argue that collaborative research can gain from a reflective practice that focuses on the relational aspects involved in research. This can be achieved through a ‘friendship approach’ rather than ‘tick-the-box guidelines’.
... Binka 2005). Discussions in the social sciences and humanities focus on the role of the Global North as the sole source of dominant theories and approaches (Connell 2006;Keim 2011;Acharya and Buzan 2017) and on the mechanisms that reproduce the Northern dominance in these communities (Tickner and Waever 2009;Keim 2011;Landau 2012;Maliniak et al. 2018;Kreimer 2019: 3). The elaboration of mechanisms (curricula worldwide dominated by Northern theories and approaches, PhD programmes of the Global North dominating postgraduate education, leading journals being dominated by scholars from the Global North and so on) makes a convincing case that the emergence of theories in the Global South and their diffusion are more than difficult under current conditions. ...
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The independence of research is a key strategic issue of modern societies. Dealing with it appropriately poses legal, economic, political, social and cultural problems for society, which have been studied by the corresponding disciplines and are increasingly the subject of reflexive discourses of scientific communities. Unfortunately, problems of independence are usually framed in disciplinary contexts without due consideration of other perspectives’ relevance or possible contributions. To overcome these limitations, we review disciplinary perspectives and findings on the independence of research and identify interdisciplinary prospects that could inform a research programme.
... community level or knowledge from the Global South is less likely to be considered credible and therefore treated as lesser evidence [44]. The hierarchies are created and sustained by power inequalities between researchers and institutions engaged in collaborative research [45,46]. Addressing the bias that generates data and knowledge hierarchies is particularly important for the multi-stakeholder DRM landscape in the Caribbean [47]. ...
Article
For hazard prone regions such as the Caribbean, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that engage in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) generate data can be used to inform DRM research which generates a deeper understanding of the nature of risk and appropriate responses. Increasingly, researchers are encouraged to develop research partnerships with other experts to expand the DRM knowledge base, understand stakeholder perspectives and achieve value for money from research funds. Research partnerships between these NGOs and academic researchers (NGO-Researcher partnerships) can be particularly useful in advancing this knowledge base as it taps into the DRM data generated by NGOs. Using a case study of DRM research in the Caribbean region, this paper seeks to demonstrate the value of NGO-Researcher partnerships based on secondary data generated by DRM NGOs. We used a mixed methods approach, combining a scoping review of peer-reviewed articles that utilise secondary data on hurricanes in the Caribbean region with semi-structured interviews with representatives of NGOs and academic institutions in the Caribbean region. Results of the scoping review indicate that the application of secondary analysis of NGO-generated data to existing DRM research is limited. Interviews identified a general willingness of NGOs to engage in NGO-Researcher partnerships, but also noted challenges, including limited NGO capacity to share data and the persistence of more extractive forms of NGO-Researcher partnerships. The findings emphasise the importance of creating or strengthening NGO-Researcher partnerships that are based on equitable distribution of costs and benefits of research partnerships. For example, the study highlights the importance of DRM research based on partnerships between academic researchers and smaller and local NGOs which can contribute towards generation of DRM knowledge and increasing DRM effectiveness. The paper further recommends a collaboratory model to DRM research that enables transnational and participatory research between diverse stakeholders from within the Caribbean region and globally.
... In consequence, Southern scientific perspectives are globally less visible. This exclusion from institutions of global science production and representation also entails that the research agendas on topics concerning the Global South are set in the Global North (Landau 2012). ...
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With the 2030 Agenda, the development paradigm has shifted towards global sustainable development, but modes of cooperation between actors in the Global North and South still cling to traditional patterns of cooperation, reproducing antiquated knowledge hierarchies. Departing from technical cooperation, transnational research cooperation may be a more equitable mode of cooperation with the potential of developing innovative solutions for sustainable development. Yet, its potential is not fully realised. Science policies on the national level and global governance mechanisms need to set a beneficial framework, ensuring that expectations of partnerships and outcomes for global sustainable development can be met. The current incoherence of national science and development cooperation policies may be aggravated by existing gaps in global governance mechanisms in view of sustainability-oriented transnational research cooperation.
... Refugee scholars have questioned the prioritisation of 'refugees' as a fixed category, which has been at the expense of other forced migrants without refugee status (Crawley and Skleparis, 2018). The geographical divides between North and South within social work's forced migration scholarship also figure squarely within broader debates in forced migration studies (Landau, 2012). That is, social work as a discipline is not alone in these trends, nor in its grappling with implications and future directions. ...
Article
This scoping review identifies and analyses historical to present–day contributions of social work scholarship on forced migration, with the aim of reviewing trends and identifying priority areas for the discipline moving forward. This review examined 331 articles related to forced migration published in 40 social work journals over four decades (1978 to 2019). Findings illustrate notable trends in temporal, methodological, topical and geographical dimensions and how those vary by first authors' locations, research sites and study populations. Temporally, the number of articles has been increasing, quadrupling between 2001–2010 and 2011–2019, with 20 social work journals doubling their number of articles. Methodologically, the large majority of articles were qualitative and/or conceptual. Topically, the most common were practice, intervention, health and mental health, while the least common topics included human rights, social justice, poverty, religion, violence, history and theory. Geographically, social work scholarship was mainly focused on refugees in the Global North and third-country resettlement contexts, and authored by scholars in the Global North. Findings thus reveal critical gaps in topics and geographical biases, raising questions related to issues of ethics, power and the production of knowledge about forced migration in the social work academy.
... A key strength of this project was the existing North-South partnership, which enabled the collaboration between multiple countries, one in the Global North and three in the Global South [6]. According to Landau [35], "international research partnerships enact and expose the inequalities, structural constraints, and historically conditioned power relations implicit in the production of knowledge". Caution is needed and care must be taken to mitigate factors that could exacerbate inequalities and inequities. ...
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Ways to address the increasing global health workforce shortage include improving the occupational health and safety of health workers, particularly those in high-risk, low-resource settings. The World Health Organization and International Labour Organization designed HealthWISE, a quality improvement tool to help health workers identify workplace hazards to find and apply low-cost solutions. However, its implementation had never been systematically evaluated. We, therefore, studied the implementation of HealthWISE in seven hospitals in three countries: Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Through a multiple-case study and thematic analysis of data collected primarily from focus group discussions and questionnaires, we examined the enabling factors and barriers to the implementation of HealthWISE by applying the integrated Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARiHS) framework. Enabling factors included the willingness of workers to engage in the implementation, diverse teams that championed the process, and supportive senior leadership. Barriers included lack of clarity about how to use HealthWISE, insufficient funds, stretched human resources, older buildings, and lack of incident reporting infrastructure. Overall, successful implementation of HealthWISE required dedicated local team members who helped facilitate the process by adapting HealthWISE to the workers’ occupational health and safety (OHS) knowledge and skill levels and the cultures and needs of their hospitals, cutting across all constructs of the i-PARiHS framework.
... The successful introduction of the postgraduate programme on human resource management in University A suggests the important contribution that a southsouth partnership can make. Literature on south-south cooperation reports on the fragile nature of such partnerships due to overreliance on funding from the North and capacity challenges to sustain partnership [34] despite their potential benefits in promoting Southern knowledge and experience, adaptability across partners, and non-hierarchical relationship [14,49,50] compared to north-south partnerships, whose success is undermined by "fundamentally unequal resource endowments and incentive structures" [51]. The literature on partnership further maintains that a host of factors pertaining to environment, membership, process and structure, communication, purpose, and resources determine success of partnerships [31,32]. ...
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Background: In-country postgraduate training programme in low and middle income countries are widely considered to strengthen institutional and national capacity. There exists dearth of research about how new training initiatives in public health training institutions come about. This paper examines a south-south collaborative initiative wherein three universities based in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mozambique set out to develop a local based postgraduate programme on health workforce development/management through partnership with a university in South Africa. Methods: We used a qualitative case study design. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 36 key informants, who were purposively recruited based on their association or proximity to the programme, and their involvement in the development, review, approval and implementation of the programme. We gathered supplementary data through document reviews and observation. Thematic analysis was used and themes were generated inductively from the data and deductively from literature on capacity development. Results: University A successfully initiated a postgraduate training programme in health workforce development/management. University B and C faced multiple challenges to embed the programme. It was evident that multiple actors underpin programme introduction across institutions, characterized by contestations over issues of programme feasibility, relevance, or need. A daunting challenge in this regard is establishing coherence between health ministries' expectation to roll out training programmes that meet national health priorities and ensure sustainability, and universities and academics' expectations for investment or financial incentive. Programme champions, located in the universities, can be key actors in building such coherence, if they are committed and received sustained support. The south-south initiative also suffers from lack of long term and adequate support. Conclusions: Against the background of very limited human capacity and competition for this capacity, initiating the postgraduate programme on health workforce development/management proved to be a political as much as a technical undertaking influenced by multiple actors vying for recognition or benefits, and influence over issues of programme feasibility, relevance or need. Critical in the success of the initiative was alignment and coherence among actors, health ministries and universities in particular, and how well programme champions are able to garner support for and ownership of programme locally. The paper argues that coherence and alignment are crucial to embed programmes, yet hard to achieve when capacity and resources are limited and contested.
... This article gives an overview of the current debates: in general, the 'participatory turn' in scholarly literature is based on an optimistic assumption that the use of participatory methods would enable knowledge production to become more democratic. Landau (2012) points out that partnerships, even between scholars in the Global North and South, are not equal and southern scholars are further impelled to do the work that fits the Northern scholars' priorities. Other scholars criticise 'democratic piety' (Little, 2008) and claim that uncritical approaches to participation can strengthen local power differentials. ...
Article
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Despite the prevalence of the term over the last two decades, scholars have not agreed on a definition of, or approach towards, participation, although critiques have emphasised that participation is not an equal process for all parties involved. By reviewing the literature and giving examples from fieldwork carried out in Lebanon, this article agrees with the common critique around participation and reflects over the limitations resulting from inherent power imbalances between researchers and participants and among community members. It also argues that the “glorification of methods” alone disguises the politics and the one-sided nature of participatory research and disregards the question of to what extent participants are involved in the construction of the methodology. This article suggests that – despite the pressure from funders to find out innovative methods – participatory researchers would benefit from understanding participants’ own ways of conceptualising and investigating a phenomenon, in order to build their methodology. This article explores these questions, particularly in research with migrants and refugees.
... A brief examination of recent writings on higher education partnerships reveals that grave concerns about power relations and inequalities between unequal partners prevail. Landau (2012) notes that 'international research partnerships enact and expose the inequalities, structural constraints and historically conditioned power relations implicit in the production of knowledge'. Philpott (2010) remarks that 'international collaborations for education risk being imperialistic or driven by supremacist ideologies and similarly accused of exploitation'. ...
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A collaborative approach to internationalization through international partnerships is widely practiced and considered essential for higher education. However, the theoretical underpinnings of university partnerships have yet to be fully analysed and understood.
... Communities are built upon developing new problem solving tools and projects for newer generations of scholars and research publicist. Landau (2012) argues that 'international research partnerships enact and expose the inequalities, structural constraints and historically conditioned power relations implicit in the production of knowledge' while Philpott (2010) remarks that 'international collaborations for education risk being imperialistic or driven by supremacist ideologies and similarly accused of exploitation '. De Wit (2015) correctly recognizes the danger of inequality within new partnerships, and adds the better relationships building is vital in order to challenge and effective facilitate a working partnerships. ...
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The Netherlands Universities Foundation for International Cooperation (Nuffic) conducted a study (van Gaalen, Hobbes, Roodenburg, & Gielesen, 2014) into institutional policy on internationalization in 2014 in the Netherlands. This study included most Dutch Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Of these, 27 (59%) had a central-level plan, eight (17%) were developing such a plan, whilst seven (15%) did not have a separate central- level plan. Only four of the HEIs (9%) in the study did not have a central-level internationalization policy. It can be concluded that the penetration of internationalization in terms of policy is high in the Netherlands. This article is a part of an extensive research project developed by the International Business Centre of Expertise at the HAN University of Applied Sciences and traces the recent institutional developments within the context of its strategic planning and internationalization policies. In particular, this article deals with the “Collaborations and Partnerships” dimension of the CIGE model (CIGE, 2013).
... This may encourage a brain drain 16,23,24 , as they may neither return to the South nor sustain academic links with their countries of origin 25 . Lack of long-term funding commitments may also lead to an 'internal' brain drain, as it may prevent Southern research institutions from retaining qualified people or keeping post graduate students long enough to secure their qualifications 26 . This may, for example, make research projects more difficult to complete, undermining the collective efforts required to define outputs and to deliver them 2 . ...
Article
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... The effects of the field's genealogy are particularly pronounced for migration scholars in Africa where theoreticallyoriented research and training has often been overshadowed by initiatives aimed at acute social concerns: poverty, disease, displacement, violence, etc. Indeed, global and local political economy of knowledge production-funding mechanisms, politics, partnerships, and employment prospects-focus on such concerns in ways that reinforce African-based migration studies curricula's tendency to centre on local, practical concerns or data generation (see Landau 2012). This work can be valuable and is often necessary. ...
... auch Pacitto & Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2013). Dass dieses Ungleichgewicht nicht zuletzt in materiellen und ökonomischen Bedingungen des Nord-Süd-Verhältnisses begründet liegt, stellt Lauren B. Landau (2012) fest. So sind mit der steigenden Relevanz von Drittmitteln in der Wissenschaft die Forschungsbudgets im Globalen Norden, fi nanziert von Stiftungen, NGOs, Regierungsstellen und den Vereinten Nationen, auf Operationalisierbarkeit im internationalen Flüchtlingsschutz ausgelegt, wodurch Flüchtlinge letztlich zu Objekten von Praxis und Wissenschaft werden. ...
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Der Hochkommissar der Vereinten Nationen für Flüchtlinge (UNHCR) spricht von der größten humanitären Flüchtlingskatastrophe seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg (UNHCR 2014) und die Anzahl an Asyl-und Schutzsuchenden in Europa nimmt Ausmaße wie seit dem Ende des Kalten Krieges nicht mehr an. Die Themen Flucht und Flüchtlingsaufnahme werden in Öffentlichkeit und Politik kontrovers diskutiert. Für die Sozialwissenschaften sind die Themen Vertreibung, Zwangsmigration und Flüchtlingsschutz nicht nur hoch aktuell, sondern fundamental mit der Organisation und Gestalt der modernen Staatenwelt verbunden. Aus vielfältigen Gründen sind Menschen gezwungen, auf der Suche nach Unterstützung und politischem Schutz ihre Länder zu verlassen. In der nationalstaatlich organisierten Welt können fundamentale Rechte nur gewährleistet werden, wie Hannah Arendt es bekanntermaßen ausdrückte, sofern man das Recht hat, Rechte zu haben (Arendt 1994: 290-302). Jene, die aus ihren Herkunftsländern fl iehen, klagen damit nicht nur gegenüber der restlichen Welt ihre Menschenrechte ein, sie stellen auch grundsätzliche Fragen an die Sozialwissenschaften. Wie gehen in unserer globalen Gesellschaft, aber auch regional, national und lokal, Flucht und Vertreibung einher mit humanitärer Unterstützung, mit dem Anspruch auf Rechte und Schutz für Flüchtlinge? Damit verbunden sind auch Fragen von Sicherheitspolitik, Grenzschutz, Rassismus und ökonomi-schen Interessen, um nur einige Themen zu benennen. Flüchtlinge existieren tatsächlich und metaphorisch zugleich an der Peripherie und im Zentrum * Ich möchte den Mitgliedern des DFG-Netzwerks Grundlagen der Flüchtlingsforschung für Anmerkungen und Anregungen zu einer früheren Version dieses Textes danken. Außerdem gilt mein Dank zwei anonymen GutachterInnen sowie der PERIPHERIE-Redaktion für hilfreiche Vorschläge zur Überarbeitung des Beitrags.
... Second, a major shift is taking place in terms of the (geographical and intellectual) location and origins of scholars conducting research into Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. While many academics, practitioners, and policymakers working in this field to date have been situated in institutions in the global North, significant contributions to the field have long been made by researchers from across all regions of the world, even if 'southern' 18 academics' voices and publications (in different languages, institutions, and journals) have often had less reach due to structural conditions (Landau 2012;cf. Chimni 1998). ...
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Read the introduction here: http://fdslive.oup.com/www.oup.com/academic/pdf/13/9780199652433_chapter1.pdf
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This introductory chapter explains how the book draws on postcolonial and decoloniality studies to challenge exceptionalist narratives and Eurocentric epistemologies that underly the fields of refugee and forced migration studies. Scholarship from disciplines such as international relations, sociology, criminology, and political science often reveals a curious silence on the continuities of colonialism and historical legacies that inform contemporary refugee phenomena. Postcolonial and decolonial critiques, however, offer ways to move beyond certain dominating analytics of Western thinking and geographies about displacement – the nation-state, border control and humanitarianism. This chapter surveys several productive critiques from postcolonial scholarly engagement with the field of refugee and forced migration policy. Using postcolonial theoretical approaches, the volume as a whole interrogates how the control, securitization, policing and surveillance of mobility follows racialized and geopolitical patterns with colonial and historical roots. Contributors represent a variety of disciplines and employ a creative array of methodological and theoretical tools. Their work requires careful assemblage of social and political theory, historical archival research, and careful analysis to link those histories to the present. The Introduction ends with a brief synopsis of each of the book’s chapters.
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The purpose of this introductory chapter is to interrogate how uprooting and displacement examined from within the gender, displacement and conflict nexus defined by the historical dynamics and conditions of nation-building and sustenance in the Global South has reshaped our understanding of epistemological bearings of forced migration studies. These, referred to by Loren Landau as ‘tyrannies of partnerships’, which tend to exacerbate inequalities as they seek to reverse them, are an essential aspect of our work (Hyne et al. 2014; Landau 2012; Banerjee 2012).KeywordsDisplacementGlobal SouthCampsGenderBorders
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The chapter links together a critical assessment of the role of militancy in migration studies, with the perspective suggested by the study of forced migration in the global context. My departure points will be some of the insights raised by the workshop on migration and militant research, hosted by the Politics department of Goldsmiths, University of London—which resulted in a special issue of the Postcolonial Studies journal entitled ‘Challenging the discipline of migration: Militant Research and Militant Investigation’—and the collective text ‘New Keywords: Migration and Borders’ published by Cultural Studies journal in early 2014 (Garelli and Tazzioli 2013a; Casas-Cortes et al. 2014). This attempt draws also on the opportunity I had of going through different context of knowledge production related to migration, encompassing the involvement in academic activities and the participation in two European research projects under the Seventh Framework programme and the experience in the sixth winter course on forced migration organised by the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (http://www.gemic.eu/, http://www.mignetproject.eu/ and http://www.mcrg.ac.in/WC2008/home.html).KeywordsMigrationMaterialityScholar activismPolitical subjectForced migration
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Recent years have seen recurrent calls for bridging the “gap” between the worlds of policy-makers, practitioners, and academic scholars concerned with forced migration and humanitarian aid. This has resulted in growing partnerships between international organisations, governments, businesses, foundations, and universities with the aim of harnessing market economic thinking to create new practice-oriented knowledge rather than out-of-touch theories. This intervention responds critically to these developments and questions the seemingly common-sense logic behind attempts to forge ever closer collaborations across institutional lines. Rather than benefitting displaced communities, bridging divides has often served as a way of consolidating the hegemony of humanitarian actors and inadvertently delegitimized more critical scholarship. Scholars in refugee and forced migration studies have hereby been engulfed in a tightening “humanitarian embrace”. This paper argues that in order to fulfil a scholarly commitment to social justice, anti-violence and pro-asylum politics, it is time to again demarcate the boundaries between the practices and institutions that reproduce humanitarian power and their critics.
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When it comes to field research in contexts of forced migration, many of the challenges relate to questions of power. Most research is plagued by a power imbalance between those who call themselves ‘researcher’ or ‘technical expert’ and the forced migrants who participate in the research in various ways. This Special Section considers how this imbalance influences the production of research and how we might address the challenges created by research practices that are exclusionary, even if unwittingly so. What, for example, are the politics of designing methods for research with/on refugees? What kinds of negotiations and gatekeeping take place in determining the assemblage of actors involved in crafting and carrying out the research? Who has a seat at the table to design the research, interpret results, and write up outcomes? The three contributing articles that follow this introduction each discuss strategies the authors deployed, i.e. how they attempted to upend dominant research practices by centreing the voices of migrants and refugees, and re-balancing power inequities. In this article, we offer an introduction to how this Special Section conceptualizes power in the context of research with forced migrants.
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Place-based research faces multiple threats, including both natural and global health hazards and political conflicts, which may disrupt fieldwork. The current COVID-19 pandemic shows how these threats can drastically affect social-ecological research activities given its engagement with different local stakeholders, disciplines, and knowledge systems. The crisis reveals the need for adaptive research designs while also providing an opportunity for a structural shift towards a more sustainable and inclusive research landscape.
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Place-based research faces multiple threats, including both natural and global health hazards and political conflicts, which may disrupt fieldwork. The current COVID-19 pandemic shows how these threats can drastically affect social-ecological research activities given its engagement with different local stakeholders, disciplines, and knowledge systems. The crisis reveals the need for adaptive research designs while also providing an opportunity for a structural shift towards a more sustainable and inclusive research landscape.
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Knowledge production and its possibilities and pitfalls in North–South research partnerships have gained increasing attention. The previous literature has identified certain pervasive challenges, and suggested a variety of ways to change partnerships, ranging from improvement of current collaboration activities to fundamental transformation of the hegemonic Eurocentric criteria for knowledge. Against this backdrop, we ask what kinds of learning can take place in research partnerships. We draw from two sources – an institutional approach and a classical categorization of learning proposed by Gregory Bateson – to develop a heuristic for analyzing institutional learning in North–South research partnerships. Moreover, based on previous empirical studies and our own experience with academic collaboration between Finnish and Tanzanian scholars, we reflect on the ways in which learning in its different forms shows in partnership practices that need to deal with different, intertwined institutional fields.
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Die Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung belebte sich in den vergangenen Jahren. In Deutschland ist sie zwar seit den 1950er Jahren mit unterschiedlicher Intensität betrieben worden. Eine Institutionalisierung wie die Refugee und Forced Migration Studies seit den 1980er Jahren im englischsprachigen Raum erlebte sie aber nie. Nach zwei Jahrzehnten geringer Forschungsaktivitäten kam es in Deutschland seit 2013 zu einer rapiden Intensivierung der Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung. Ziel des Projekts ist es, den Stand der Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung zu dokumentieren und einen Überblick über die deutsche Forschungslandschaft im Feld zu gewinnen. Einen solchen Überblick vermittelt eine seit Sommer 2016 zusammengestellte Datenbank, in der bislang über 550 einschlägige Forschungsprojekte erfasst wurden. Die Datenbank ist einerseits Quelle einer interaktiven und öffentlich zugänglichen Forschungslandkarte, mit der Forschungsprojekte zum Thema Flucht visualisiert und gezielt gesucht werden können. Andererseits ist sie Grundlage für die hier vorgelegte Auswertung des Standes der deutschen Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung.
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Die Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung belebte sich in den vergangenen Jahren. In Deutschland ist sie zwar seit den 1950er Jahren mit unterschiedlicher Intensität betrieben worden. Eine Institutionalisierung wie die Refugee und Forced Migration Studies seit den 1980er Jahren im englischsprachigen Raum erlebte sie aber nie. Nach zwei Jahrzehnten geringer Forschungsaktivitäten kam es in Deutschland seit 2013 zu einer rapiden Intensivierung der Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung. Der vorliegende Bericht gibt einen detaillierten Einblick in diese Entwicklungen, ordnet sie ein und bietet Handlungsempfehlungen. Grundlage sind umfangreiche Daten zu 511 Projekten aus der Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung, die zwischen 2011 und 2016 durchgeführt wurden. Die Daten zeigen, dass ausgesprochen dezentral in allen Bundesländern zu Flucht und Flüchtlingen geforscht wird. Es kristallisieren sich jedoch Konzentrationen heraus, insbesondere an einigen thematisch spezialisierten und multidisziplinär arbeitenden Forschungseinrichtungen. Institute an Universitäten sind häufiger an Kooperationsprojekten beteiligt, doch die Vernetzung ist insgesamt noch wenig ausgebildet. Das Forschungsfeld hat sich mit der Zeit in seiner fachlichen Zusammensetzung kaum geändert, weist trotz des multidisziplinären Themas jedoch wenig interdisziplinäre Forschung auf. Über die Disziplinen hinweg dominieren die Themen Aufnahme und Integration sowie ein regionaler Fokus auf Deutschland. Diese Tendenz hat sich verstärkt, so dass 2016 nur noch 20 Prozent der Projekte keinen Deutschlandbezug mehr aufwiesen. Forschungsprojekte zu Aspekten der Gewaltmigration und zu Regionen außerhalb Europas sind seltener geworden. Zugleich ist eine Verkürzung der Projektdauer zu beobachten, von durchschnittlich 35 Monaten in 2013 auf 22 Monate in 2016. Dies geht einher mit einer Zunahme an durch Drittmittel finanzierten und institutseigenen Projekten, die 2016 zusammen rund 80 Prozent der Projekte ausgemacht haben, während 2014 noch 50 Prozent der Projekte Qualifizierungsarbeiten waren. Zugleich hielt die Finanzierung der Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung trotz steigender Gesamtausgaben für den Forschungsbereich nicht mit dem rasanten Anstieg der Zahl der Forschungsprojekte mit. Der Finanzierungsaufwand für ein Projekt hängt dabei stark von beteiligten Disziplinen, Themen und Forschungsregionen ab. An diese Ergebnisse anschließend werden unter anderem eine Ausdifferenzierung von Forschungsthemen und –perspektiven, interdisziplinäre und internationale Kooperationen, die Institutionalisierung der Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung in Forschung und Lehre der Hochschulen sowie ein Ausbau der bundesweiten Vernetzung beteiligter Einrichtungen um einige Forschungsknotenpunkte empfohlen.
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Decolonising methodologies attempt to bring together a number of critical, indigenous, liberation, and feminist methodologies to strengthen decolonisation research. Decolonising methodologies have potential, but it is important to be aware of possible limitations. I argue that the manner in which decolonising methodologies is located in the paradigm debate is limiting and prescriptive, lacks clarity of the concepts that it draws on, reproduces problematic representations of the marginalised, overemphasises how much choice researchers have in choosing decolonising methodologies, and does not address the systemic barriers to decolonisation scholarship. Recommendations for how to strengthen decolonising methodologies are presented.
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports the proportion of females among the 2015 global population of persons of concern as 49% of 63.9 million. Deviations from this overall proportion, in particular places and spaces, and at different times in processes of forced migration, provide the insight into the role of gender in forced migration and its demography. Issues of vulnerability, less often resilience, however, flow from these metrics. This paper engages the ways in which gender informs the understandings of the demography of forced migration. Cultural values and social norms concerning gender are significant determinants of relative risk and exposure in complex humanitarian emergencies and environmental crisis which result in human flight, displacement and the search for safe haven. Methodologies consistent with the mobilities paradigm offer particular insight and strategies in informing a gendered demography of forced migration. Failure to consider gender in the demography of forced migration weakens the relevance of demographic analysis for prevention of and response to complex humanitarian crises.
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A global North–South divide in research, and its negative consequences, has been highlighted in various scientific disciplines. Northern domination of science relevant to climate change policy and practice, and limited research led by Southern researchers in Southern countries, may hinder further development and implementation of global climate change agreements and nationally appropriate actions. Despite efforts to address the North–South divide, progress has been slow. In this Perspective, we illustrate the extent of the divide, review underlying issues and analyse their consequences for climate change policy development and implementation. We propose a set of practical steps in both Northern and Southern countries that a wide range of actors should take at global, regional and national scales to span the North–South divide, with examples of some actions already being implemented.
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Researching the resolution of post-disaster displacement raises a range of under-examined challenges. This article contributes to the literature on research methods and forced migration by analysing experiences conducting two policy research projects that employed a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the pursuit of ‘durable solutions’ to post-disaster displacement in Haiti and the Philippines. Many scholars are highly critical of how policy concepts and categories have sometimes unthinkingly shaped research on displacement, but the views of policy researchers and researcher-practitioners are under-represented in this conversation. This article seeks to advance discussions on the relationship between research, policy and practice in the field of forced migration by reflecting on efforts to undertake thoughtful policy research on durable solutions while making the very notion of durable solutions and tools such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Framework on Durable Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons central objects of investigation. In particular, it explores four key issues: the structure of policy research partnerships; implications of different approaches to conceptualizing displacement and durable solutions; the challenge of understanding displacement and durable solutions in relation to broader and pre-disaster politics, conditions and concerns; and the timing of studies on durable solutions.
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Scientific cooperation between the Industrialized Countries (ICs) and the Less Developed Countries (LDCs) has evolved greatly over the last three decades and has involved a number of varied mechanisms ranging from technical assistance to collaborative research partnerships. After a brief historical review of these mechanisms and of the conceptual debates around them, this paper considers the main programs that have been established during the last 10–15 years to promote North-South scientific collaborative partnership. One of the main problems encountered in the implementation of collaborative research programs relate to the asymmetry of the collaboration and the dominance of the partners in the North. While recognizing that conditions for success may differ depending on the main objectives of the collaboration, a list of ingredients for successful collaboration is proposed in the conclusion. This is based on the experience of the programs under review.
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Social scientists doing fieldwork in humanitarian situations often face a dual imperative: research should be both academically sound and policy relevant. We argue that much of the current research on forced migration is based on unsound methodology, and that the data and subsequent policy conclusions are often flawed or ethically suspect. This paper identifies some key methodological and ethical problems confronting social scientists studying forced migrants or their hosts. These problems include non-representativeness and bias, issues arising from working in unfamiliar contexts including translation and the use of local researchers, and ethical dilemmas including security and confidentiality issues and whether researchers are doing enough to 'do no harm'. The second part of the paper reviews the authors' own efforts to conduct research on urban refugees in Johannesburg. It concludes that while there is no single 'best practice' for refugee research, refugee studies would advance its academic and policy relevance by more seriously considering methodological and ethical concerns.
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Although there have been many previous studies of research collaboration, comparatively little attention has been given to the concept of ‘collaboration’ or to the adequacy of attempting to measure it through co-authorship. In this paper, we distinguish between collaboration at different levels and show that inter-institutional and international collaboration need not necessarily involve inter-individual collaboration. We also show that co-authorship is no more than a partial indicator of collaboration. Lastly, we argue for a more symmetrical approach in comparing the costs of collaboration with the undoubted benefits when considering policies towards research collaboration.
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Given that research into forced migration is looking at processes of enormous human suffering and often involves working with people who are extremely vulnerable to exploitation and physical harm, it seems difficult to justify if it has no relevance for policy. This article argues that the search for policy relevance has encouraged researchers to take the categories, concepts and priorities of policy makers and practitioners as their initial frame of reference for identifying their areas of study and formulating research questions. This privileges the worldview of the policy makers in constructing the research, constraining the questions asked, the objects of study and the methodologies and analysis adopted. In particular, it leaves large groups of forced migrants invisible in both research and policy. Drawing on a case study of self-settled refugees, the article explores how these limitations affect the research process, despite the efforts of the researcher to move beyond policy categories. In order to bring such 'invisible' forced migrants into view, the conclusion calls for more oblique approaches to research, which recognize the 'normality' within their situation rather than privileging their position as forced migrants as the primary explanatory factor. Such studies may help to bridge the gap between refugee studies and broader social scientific theories of social transformation and human mobility. By breaking away from policy relevance, it will be possible to challenge the taken-for-granted assumptions that underpins much practice and in due course bring much more significant changes to the lives of forced migrants. © The Author [2008]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
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This essay questions the soundness of a scholarly shift away from ‘refugee studies’ in favour of ‘forced migration studies’. It contends, first, that subsuming refugee studies into the broader framework of forced migration studies may result in a failure to take account of the specificity of the refugee's circumstances which are defined not just by movement to avoid the risk of harm, but by underlying social disfranchisement coupled with the unqualified ability of the international community to respond to their needs. Second, it argues that forced ‘migration’ (rather than, for example, forced ‘migrant’) studies encourages a focus on a phenomenon rather than on the personal predicaments, needs, challenges, and rights of refugees themselves. It may thus contribute to a lack of criticality in relation to policies which subordinate refugee autonomy to the pursuit of more systemic concerns. The first concern is illustrated by reference to the emergence of the ‘internally displaced persons’ category, the second by reference to the determination to find and mandate ‘durable solutions’ to forced migration, including to the movement of refugees.
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This essay seeks to understand and explain the birth of Forced Migration Studies. It argues that the turn from Refugee Studies to Forced Migration Studies must be viewed against the backdrop of the history and relationship of colonialism and humanitarianism, as a certain commonality binds the past and present eras. The move to Forced Migration Studies accompanies the inauguration of a phase of political humanitarianism with a distinct accent, albeit encapsulated in new forms and issues, on ‘civilizing’ the Other. In making this contention the paper distances itself from both the defenders and critics of the turn to Forced Migration Studies. It inter alia contends that Refugee Studies, like Forced Migration Studies, has served the geopolitics of hegemonic states. But since all knowledge is dual use, both have also had humanitarian effects. But a greater degree of disciplinary reflexivity would go a long way to ensure that the genuinely humanitarian strand in Forced Migration Studies prevails.
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In the post-1945 period the policy of Northern states has moved from the neglect of refugees in the Third World, to their use as pawns in Cold War politics, to their containment now. The paper explores in these shifting policy contexts the geopolitics of knowledge production in the field of refugee studies. The arrival of the ‘new asylum seekers’ in the 1980s signalled the expansion of refugee studies. A ‘new approach’ took shape which critiqued the established positivist approach to refugee law and created the myth of difference (the idea that great dissimilarities characterized refugee flows in Europe and the Third World). It advocated the rejection of the exile bias of refugee law; reliance on the solution of voluntary repatriation; and responsibility of the state of physical origin. In legitimizing the ‘new approach’, a key role, so far ignored, has been played by the knowledge production and dissemination functions of UNHCR.
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