Refugees' Roles in Resolving Displacement and Building Peace

Beyond Beneficiaries

Megan Bradley, James Milner, and Blair Peruniak, Editors

"On the whole, what we have at hand is a great scholarly work that serves [as] a much needed and unique contribution to the literature that also helps enrich several relevant disciplines."
+ Add to Cart Preorder


Request Print Exam Copy

Request Digital Exam Copy

How are refugee crises solved? This has become an urgent question as global displacement rates continue to climb, and refugee situations now persist for years if not decades. The resolution of displacement and the conflicts that force refugees from their homes is often explained as a top-down process led and controlled by governments and international organizations. This book takes a different approach. Through contributions from scholars working in politics, anthropology, law, sociology and philosophy, and a wide range of case studies, it explores the diverse ways in which refugees themselves interpret, create and pursue solutions to their plight. It investigates the empirical and normative significance of refugees’ engagement as agents in these processes, and their implications for research, policy and practice. This book speaks both to academic debates and to the broader community of peacebuilding, humanitarian and human rights scholars concerned with the nature and dynamics of agency in contentious political contexts, and identifies insights that can inform policy and practice.

Table of Contents

François Crépeau


Introduction: Shaping the Struggles of Their Times
Megan Bradley, James Milner and Blair Peruniak

Part I: Refugees and Resolution Processes: Disciplinary Perspectives

1. Durable Solutions and the Political Action of Refugees
Karen Jacobsen

2. Refugees, Peacebuilding, and the Anthropology of the Good
Cindy Horst

3. Displacement Resolution and “Massively Shared Agency”
Blair Peruniak

4. Transformative Justice and Legal Conscientization: Refugee Participation in Peace Processes, Repatriation, and Reconciliation
Anna Purkey

Part II: Pursing Peace and Social Reconstruction: Displaced Persons’ Roles

5. Complex Victimhood and Social Reconstruction after War and Displacement
Erin Baines

6. Refugees, Peacebuilding, and Paternalism: Lessons from Mozambique
James Milner

7. Displaced Persons as Symbols of Grievance: Collective Identity, Individual Rights and Durable Solutions
Patrik Johansson

Part III: Seeking “Solutions” to Displacement within and beyond Traditional Frameworks

8. Shunning Solidarity: Durable Solutions in a Fluid Era
Loren B. Landau

9. “Grabbing” Solutions: Internal Displacement and Post-Disaster Land Occupations in Haiti
Angela Sherwood

10. From IDPs to Victims in Colombia: Reflections on Durable Solutions in the Postconflict Setting
Julieta Lemaitre and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

11. Refugees’ Roles in Resettlement from Uganda and Tanzania: Agency, Intersectionality, and Relationships
Christina Clark-Kazak and Marnie Jane Thomson

12. Liberian Refugee Protest and the Meaning of Agency
Amanda Coffie

13. From Roots to Rhizomes: Mapping Rhizomatic Strategies in the Sahrawi and Palestinian Protracted Refugee Situations
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here?
James Milner, Megan Bradley, and Blair Peruniak

List of References
List of Contributors


"With displacement at record high levels, it has never been more important to find lasting solutions for refugees and displaced persons. This important volume provides valuable perspective on the role that refugees themselves play in forging solutions. With contributions from some of the most experienced and innovative researchers in the refugee field, it is bound to be useful to academics, policymakers and practitioners alike."—Susan Martin, Donald G. Herzberg Professor Emerita of International Migration, Georgetown University

"This work, grounded in critical theoretical debates and informed by migrants and refugees' experiences to mobilize and influence policies, constitutes a timely addition to our knowledge about the pace at which refugees and migrants are changing the rules of the game whereas the guardians of the migration global governance architecture are trapped in the past."—Salim Salamah, founding member, Network for Refugee Voices

"At a time when official ‘solutions’ have largely disappeared, the editors have collected a treasure trove of analyses, tactics, and approaches to resolving displacement, designed largely by refugees and IDPs themselves. The volume fosters rich and original interdisciplinary research that highlights the decisions refugees take and their vital roles in peacebuilding."—Jennifer Hyndman, Professor and Director, Centre for Refugees Studies, York University

"On the whole, what we have at hand is a great scholarly work that serves [as] a much needed and unique contribution to the literature that also helps enrich several relevant disciplines."—Nordic Journal of Migration Research


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Megan Bradley is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University.

James Milner is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Carleton University.

Blair Peruniak is a doctoral candidate in the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford.

321 pp., 6 x 9
2 tables
ISBN: 978-1-62616-674-5
Jun 2019

321 pp., 6 x 9
2 tables
ISBN: 978-1-62616-675-2
Jun 2019

321 pp.
2 tables
ISBN: 978-1-62616-676-9
Jun 2019

Related Titles