Call for Panels & Papers

The 16th conference of
the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM) will be hosted by
the Centre for Migration Studies, the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, and the Faculty of Law and Public Administration at the Adam Mickiewicz University in
Poznan, Poland from July 12-15, 2016

The deadline for abstract submissions is now passed. Decisions about acceptances will be communicated by the end of February, 2016.


IASFM 16: Rethinking Forced Migration and Displacement: Theory, Policy, and Praxis


The 16th conference of IASFM will take place on July 12-15, 2016 at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. It will be hosted by the Centre for Migration Studies, the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology, and the Faculty of Law and Public Administration.

This is the first time that IASFM members will gather in Central Europe. The setting for the 16th IASFM conference is especially important as we watch the most recent refugee crisis unfold in Europe, including in countries that historically were refugee-producing spaces and now have to provide durable solutions for forced migrants fleeing armed conflicts and asking for refuge in Europe. These developments constitute a significant opportunity to rethink and redefine forced migration. Existing concepts and definitions are rooted in historical transformations–political, legal and social—that led to refugee movements post-World War II and during the Cold War, but are they appropriate for the diversity and complexity of the 21st century forced migration?

International responses to recent conflicts in Syria and Ukraine have resulted in a heated public debate about who belongs in Europe and who does not. However, similar debates about whether refugees should be accepted or not are also taking place elsewhere in the world. Therefore, it is time to engage in discussion involving researchers and practitioners on when, how and why forced migrants have “the right to have rights”, to quote Hannah Arendt. The answers to these extremely sensitive political problems should be the subject of deep analysis involving social scientists, legal scholars, historians, and representatives of humanitarian organizations, policy makers, and when possible refugees. Such interdisciplinary perspectives will give the participants of the IASFM 16 the opportunity to develop a deeper reflection on forced migration concepts, definitions, and issues from historical and contemporary as well as regional and global perspectives.


The Program Committee is pleased to invite colleagues in forced migration studies and practitioners working with forced migrants to submit proposals for Organized Paper Panels, Roundtables, and Individual Papers for sessions to be created by the Committee. We will give preference to organized panels and roundtables over individual papers. However, we will circulate panel proposals through the IASFM Listserv and Facebook in order to connect panel organizers with authors of individual papers to facilitate fruitful collaboration. Below is a list of themes around which paper panels and roundtables should be organized. We might consider panel proposals on additional sub-themes, but they must correspond with the overall theme of the conference Rethinking Forced Migration and Displacement: Theory, Policy, and Praxis.

  1. Who is a refugee? Old concepts, new realities
  1. Citizenship, nationhood, and forced migration: Ideologies and policies of inclusion and exclusion
  1. From refugee to refuge: The history and evolution of forced migration in East and Central Europe
  1. Forced movements in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean: Humanitarianism, human rights or human security?’
  1. Regional responses to forced migration: The importance of local context—economic, social, and cultural—in crafting policy responses
  1. UNHCR and IOM: Collaboration potential and pitfalls
  1. Towards durable solutions for refugees, internally displaced, trafficked victims, and other forced migrants: Beyond immediate assistance and protection
  1. State fragility and displacement: Concepts, realities, and the rule of law
  1. Researching forced migration: Engagements, methodologies, and ethics
  1. The power of imaginaries: Demonization and celebration of forced migration in words and images
  1. Gender and sexualities: Protection challenges and possibilities
  1. The long journey home: Return and reintegration
  1. The struggle of belonging: Forming and reforming social identities of young refugees and asylum seekers
  1. Climate change and displacement


The official language of the IASFM is English. All papers and roundtable discussions must be presented in English.

Requests for further information can be made to the following email address: