IASFM18 Conference Additional Call for Papers on COVID-19 and Forced Migration

The next International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) will be hosted by the University of Ghana but held online from July 26-28, 2021 due to uncertainties regarding the ability to travel associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. All previously accepted papers and panels remain accepted.

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and its broad effects on refugees and other displaced persons, the organizing committee has decided to launch an additional call for papers and is now inviting submissions specifically addressing COVID-19 and forced migration. Submissions may include conceptual, theoretical or methodological pieces as well as empirical research. We invite both individual papers or panel sessions of 1.5 hours; the format of panels may involve paper presentations, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops, open debate, or performances. Submissions should be oriented towards the IASFM18 conference title, “Disrupting Theory, Unsettling Practice: Towards Transformative Forced Migration Scholarship and Policy.” Contributions from people that have been historically underrepresented in academic or policy conferences are especially encouraged.

This is a limited call for submissions that will be added to the existing IASFM18 program. Only submissions that directly address COVID-19 will be considered.

Please note that decisions about the final conference programme will be underpinned by equality principles, ensuring opportunities for a wide range of speakers and participants from different backgrounds provided that their proposed contribution is consistent with the conference objectives and reaches a minimum quality threshold. Particular care will be taken to ensure that early career researchers, scholars working in the Global South and those working across a range of geographical and organisational contexts are able to participate.

The deadline for submissions is 31st January 2021. Submissions after that date will not be considered. Selected individual or panel submissions will be notified by 19th February 2021.

Please submit proposals in the form below.


IASFM Statement on Global Racism

In the context of the Black Lives Matters movement, and the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected racialized people and migrants, the IASFM membership adopted the following Statement on Global Racism in September 2020. We acknowledge that systemic racism exists in social structures, including migration policies and academic associations like IASFM. This statement is only a first step towards concrete actions to identify and challenge racist ideologies and practices in and through our work.


Statement on Global Racism Adopted by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration  Adopted by the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM)[1]

September 2020

For over two decades, the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) has been at the forefront of supporting globally displaced persons. Governments, the United Nations, non-profit organizations, and practitioners have utilized the scholarship, policy recommendations, and best practices generated by IASFM’s diverse membership to address forced migration and configure apt solutions.

IASFM’s membership is diverse in multiple ways, such as race, gender, religion, global region, and socioeconomic status. Therefore, IASFM recognizes the political, economic, and social inequalities experienced by many of its members. IASFM acknowledges the institutionalized systems of discrimination under which many of its members reside. Likewise, many forcibly uprooted persons endure racism in their country of origin, host countries, and countries of resettlement.

Racism is a global social construct used to determine the unequal ownership and distribution of the world’s resources. From racist ideologies underpinning the slave trade to current anti-immigration policies, systemic racism permeates global migration systems and relationships. Racialized refugees’ human rights under international and national law are violated. They are also subjected to state-sanctioned violence as they seek their human right to a dignified existence. Racism creates systemic barriers to accessing social services and integration. 

In these unprecedented times of change, IASFM calls for governments, individuals, and organizations to address policies, practices, and attitudes that perpetuate white supremacy. The United Nations General Assembly “solemnly affirm[ed] the necessity of speedily eliminating racial discrimination throughout the world in all its forms and manifestations and of securing understanding of and respect for the dignity of the human person.”[2] IASFM urges all to agree and implement, in spirit and deed, these words from the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

[1] Drafted by Dorian Brown Crosby, Ph.D.

[2] International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted and opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution 2106 (XX) of 21 December 1965, and entered into force 4 January 1969, in accordance with Article 19, https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/cerd.aspx. 

IASFM18: Call for Contributions

Disrupting Theory, Unsettling Practice: Towards Transformative Forced Migration Scholarship and Policy

University of Ghana, Accra

27th – 30th July 2020

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS

Please note that the deadline for submissions has now closed.

THE CONTEXT

We are living in turbulent times within which the issue of forced migration and the subject of ‘the refugee’ have become deeply symbolic of broader processes of political, economic and social change. This is reflected in the politicization of migration by countries in both the Global North and South. Against this backdrop, scholars and advocates working with and for refugees and other forced migrants, as well as refugees themselves, are increasingly struggling to get their voices heard and to mobilise effectively. Whilst there are many initiatives globally these have struggled to become more than the sum of their parts. Moreover whilst the objective of decolonising forced migration research remains an important project, it faces significant new challenges, not least the unequal power relations associated with funding made available via the institutions of the Global North for research and practice in the Global South, much of which is orientated towards containment agendas. The current migration research landscape is heavily skewed towards the Global North where existing research is largely designed and led, and where governments and international organisations increasingly fund research to inform policy development. The Global North’s interests shape dominant research themes, producing a disproportionate focus on South-North migration (SNM) and categories of migrant defined in law and policy to make sense of – and increasingly contain – migration flows. Epistemic communities concerned with migration are largely produced and reproduced in and by the Global North: while ODA-recipient countries host a growing number of research centres, most researchers are trained in the Global North. The resulting echo chamber constrains the capacity of many of the poorest countries to analyse the migration issues that affect their communities without outside technical assistance and expertise. This requires us to ask ourselves challenging questions about the focus of our academic endeavours, the ways in which we work together and our engagement with those we want to influence, most notably policy makers, politicians and a wide range of publics.

The title of IASFM18 – ‘Disrupting Theory, Unsettling Practice: Towards Transformative Forced Migration Scholarship and Policy’ – represents an attempt to engage forced migration scholars and others directly in addressing these questions. The conference will be organised around a number of key underpinning principles which will shape the content of the programme, the nature of the contributions and a range of other activities taking place before and after the conference to ensure that IASFM18 is part of a process rather than a time-limited event:

  • Key note and plenary sessions will include the voices and perspectives of scholars, policy makers, artists and displaced people working in the Global South;
  • Space will be created within the programme for new and emerging scholars to be heard and for their work to be supported;
  • Refugees and other displaced populations will be directly involved in the programme design and delivery as scholars, artists and people directly affected by the issues under discussion, including through activities that will be developed with local refugee communities in the period leading up, and beyond IASFM18; and
  • The format of the conference will allow for a wide range of contributions to be fully included: creative and artistic representations, debates and discussions as well as more ‘traditional’ academic papers.

CONFERENCE FORMAT

The conference will run over three and a half days and will consist of four keynotes, three plenary discussions and thirty parallel sessions, providing an opportunity for a wide range of contribution and participants from different backgrounds and geographical contexts. Part of the conference programme will be organised and run by Liberian refugees living in the nearby Buduburam camp. A full conference programme will be available shortly.

CONFERENCE THEMES

The Organising Committee for IASFM18 invite contributions that address the cross-cutting themes of knowledge production, category construction and representation. Contributions should critically engage with dominant conceptualisations of forced migration/refugees as a ‘problem’ to be solved by global elites, instead developing approaches that fuse the critical and the creative and which integrate theoretical rigor and policy concerns with refugees’ rich and complicated experiences. We are particularly interested in contributions that examine the dynamics of knowledge production in relation to issues of forced migration and concomitant methodological challenges including/reflecting relationships between researchers and the researched, between researchers from the Global South and North, and between researchers and policy-makers. Case studies/examples from the Global South of the ways in which scholars and practitioners from the Global South are able to shape research and policy agendas, are particularly welcome. Examples of topics that may be explored in relationship to the conference themes include:

  • Representations of ‘the refugee’;
  • The political economy and ethics of knowledge production in forced migration research;
  • Innovative and inclusive methodologies in researching displacement and belonging;
  • The legacy and implications of the Global Compact on Refugees;
  • Regional responses to displacement in Africa;
  • Refugee protection in countries that are not signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention;
  • The protection of refugees in Europe;
  • The relationship between forced migration and inequality;
  • The relationship between development programs, refugee protection and removal;
  • Protracted displacement;
  • (Re)conceptualising internal displacement; and
  • Forced migration and environmental change.

CONFERENCE FACILITIES AND SUPPORT

Visas

Ghana provides visa free access for all those travelling from other West African countries and a few countries outside West Africa, including Kenya and Singapore. Citizens of African Union countries (except Morocco) and many countries outside Africa are able to obtain a 30 day visa for Ghana upon arrival for a fee $150. Further information about visas to Ghana can be found here. The Centre for Migration Studies will provide letters of invitation where required to enable speakers and participants to travel to Ghana.

Bursaries

Funding for travel subsidies will be very limited and will be restricted to those who will be presenting at the conference. We strongly encourage participants to look for funding support from other sources. The application is available online: http://tinyurl.com/y3auqurb

YOUR CONTRIBUTION

The Organising Committee welcomes contributions to IASFM18 which fit the overarching conferences themes. Whilst we will accept individual papers, our preference is for panel sessions of 1.5 hours. The slot allocated for a panel session time can be used in any way you choose e.g. paper presentations, panel discussion, roundtables, workshops, open debate, performance –  or indeed a combination! If you would like our assistance in devising a panel, please contact the ESPMI Network at espminetwork@gmail.com who will endeavour to connect you with others who are interested in contributing on a similar theme/issue in order that you can develop your collective panel proposal.

The deadline for submissions is now closed.

You will receive a decision about whether your contribution has been accepted by the end of February 2020.

Please note that decisions about the final conference programme will be underpinned by equality principles, ensuring opportunities for a wide range of speakers and participants from different backgrounds provided that their proposed contribution is consistent with the conference objectives and reaches a minimum quality threshold. Particular care will be taken to ensure that early career researchers, scholars working in the Global South and those working across a range of geographical and organisational contexts are able to participate.