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Forced International Migration In Southern Africa

Forced migration has been a key feature of politics in southern Africa owing to factors which include colonialism, Apartheid, destabilisation, post-independent political conflict, repression, human rights violations and socio-economic collapse. These processes have affected large sections on populations and many victims have opted to migrate internationally inborder to mitigate the debilitating conditions. Many states have provided refuge and relief to mixed flows of migrants over many decades.

Forced migration as an academic research area has been approached from various disciplinary premises such as geography, sociology, demography, gender studies, public policy, political science and international relations. Scholars have adopted both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and various research methods. Some of the key intellectual traditions in forced migration research include realism, liberalism, gender, critical theory, constructivism and norms and ethics, to name but a few.

This panel will focus on the contemporary experience of forced migration in southern Africa. The prolonged socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe, and the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Eswatini are glaring examples of the challenges that afflict the region. The resort to international migration by many have compelled states to give effect to their international legal obligations. The experience of forced migrants within host states have varied significantly. The violent and xenophobic experience of migrants in South Africa, for example, is but an example of unforseen and unintended consequence of forced migration. 

This panel aims to bring scholars and stakeholders together, and advance the discourse about forced migration between epistemic communities. Proposals for papers which analyse the causes, responses and consequences of forced migration in southern Africa are accordingly invited as a step towards enhancing our understanding of contemporary challenges in southern Africa.

Please email grahamburtonjoseph@gmail.com with 200-250 word abstracts by March 11th.