"Crisis" and Forced Migration: Manifestations of power in a changing world
14th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies
Hosted virtually in collaboration with the Human Rights Program at St. Paul's University College at the University of Waterloo
2-4 November 2022
Detailed call for papers available at https://pheedloop.com/carfms22/proposal/start/?call=CALXZ134B27KWAU
Submission deadline is July 15th, 2022
In the forced migration context, the term ‘crisis’ has been affixed both to specific displacements (i.e., the European migration ‘crisis’) and to root causes (i.e., authoritarian government). In either case, crises demand response. Does the international community come together in solidarity to redefine and reapportion global responsibility, or does it fragment with each state or region building ever higher walls to deter entrance? Do we hold on to a definition of “refugee” that offers protection to some but excludes many, or re-imagine the international protection regime to better ensure the equal dignity and respect that were its original promise?
The mobilization of the concept of ‘crisis’ influences our ability to respond and the responses available. As an extraordinary occurrence, a ‘crisis’ can be used to justify or authorize an emergency response in which the status quo may be suspended with dramatic consequences for people on the move. Indeed, both ‘crises’ themselves and the responses that they elicit represent manifestations of power or the lack thereof. In the migration context, the politics of power are evident in the responses to forced displacement: in the ability of the Global North to implement policies and practices that trap displaced persons in the Global South and in the inability of less economically developed countries to hold wealthy countries accountable for their role in the root causes of displacement. The state leader who can close a border or criminalize assistance to irregular migrants exercises power. The politician who uses the vulnerability of others to stoke nationalist sentiments exercises power. The immigration officer responsible for defining and categorizing those seeking protection exercises power. However, so too does the migrant who, once displaced, rebuilds their life, the advocate who stands up for the rights of others, the academic whose research influences policy, and the refugee who makes their voice heard.
The 2022 CARFMS Conference will bring together researchers, policymakers, NGOs, practitioners, students, displaced persons, and advocates from diverse disciplinary and regional backgrounds to discuss how to claim, exercise, or resist power in responses to the multiple, overlapping global forced migration crises that currently face the world. The conference will feature keynote and plenary speeches from leaders in the field and refugees, and we welcome proposals for individual papers, organized panels and roundtables
Anna Purkey, Assistant Professor and Director of the Human Rights Program at St. Paul's University College at the University of Waterloo.