GRAMNet public events on forced migration and refugees

12:20 pm
23 March 2023

Join us for the following GRAMNet public events, which will take place in-person in Glasgow and online, via Zoom:

  1. A conversation on Forced migration in the Middle East, past and present with historian Laura Robson and political scientist Ibrahim Awad, Thursday 23 March at 5pm (Boyd Orr building, room 407)
  2. A talk by Rawan Arar about her new book with David FitzGerald, The Refugee System: a Sociological Approach (Polity Press, 2023), Friday 24 Mar at 3pm (James Watt building, room 355)

The events will also be accessible online via Zoom, both using the link at the bottom of this page. More information about the events and speakers below.

Forced migration in the Middle East, past and present: A conversation with Laura Robson and Ibrahim Awad

Thursday 23 March, 5–6.30pm
Boyd Orr building, room 407
Map and accessibility guide: link

Laura Robson is a scholar of international and Middle Eastern history with a special interest in questions of refugeedom, forced migration, and statelessness. She has published extensively on the topics of refugee and minority rights, forced migration, ethnic cleansing, and the emergence of international legal regimes around resettlement and asylum. Her most recent books are The Politics of Mass Violence in the Middle East (Oxford, 2020), a history of the relationship between violence and the state in the twentieth-century Eastern Mediterranean, and Partitions: A Transnational History of 20th Century Territorial Separatism (with Arie Dubnov; Stanford, 2019), a comparative examination of the political “solution” of ethnic partition in the decolonizing world. Her latest book Human Capital: A History of Putting Refugees to Work will be published with Verso in 2023.

Ibrahim Awad is professor of practice in global affairs and director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, at the American University in Cairo (AUC). He has worked for the League of Arab States, the United Nations and the International Labour Organization (ILO), holding positions of secretary of the commission, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA), director, ILO sub-regional office for North Africa and director, ILO International Migration programme. He currently is chair of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), hosted by the World Bank, chair of the Steering Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Research Network on International Migration (EuroMedMig) and senior fellow at the Migration Policy Centre (MPC) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He also serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals.


The Refugee System: a Sociological Approach
Book talk with Rawan Arar

Friday 24 March, 3.30–5pm
James Watt School of Engineering, room 355
Map and accessibility guide: link

Rawan Arar is Assistant Professor of Law, Societies, and Justice at the University of Washington, and co-author (with David FitzGerald) of The Refugee System: a Sociological Approach (Polity Press, 2023). She will be discussing her book with Judith Hoppermann, a researcher in Politics at the University of Glasgow.

Some people facing violence and persecution flee. Others stay. How do households in danger decide who should go, where to relocate, and whether to keep moving? What are the conditions in countries of origin, transit, and reception that shape people’s options?

This incisive book tells the story of how one Syrian family, spread across several countries, tried to survive the civil war and live in dignity. This story forms a backdrop to explore and explain the refugee system. Departing from studies that create siloes of knowledge about just one setting or “”solution”” to displacement, the book’s sociological approach describes a global system that shapes refugee movements. Changes in one part of the system reverberate elsewhere. Feedback mechanisms change processes across time and place. Earlier migrations shape later movements. Immobility on one path redirects migration along others. Past policies, laws, population movements, and regional responses all contribute to shape states’ responses in the present. As Arar and FitzGerald illustrate, all these processes are forged by deep inequalities of economic, political, military, and ideological power.

Presenting a sharp analysis of refugee structures worldwide, this book offers invaluable insights for students and scholars of international migration and refugee studies across the social sciences, as well as policy makers and those involved in refugee and asylum work.

Copies of the book will be available for sale at the John Smith’s bookshop on campus.

Publisher’s page: here.

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