About this Research Topic
Refugee protection has become a contested issue, with rich states restricting access of refugees to their territory and seeking to keep refugees in the countries close to those from which they have fled. In this context, solidarity between states is addressed mainly by richer states providing aid and donor support in monetary or in-kind donations, rather than taking responsibility for hosting forcibly displaced people in their own countries. Selective state level solidarity provides resettlement options for few of those deemed to fit the receiving society. Therefore, this channel can only provide solutions to very few among the global refugee population.
Solidarity movements by civil society groups and lay citizens have become visible to broader audiences especially since 2015, with the so-called European refugee "crisis". These groups respond to the most immediate needs of the forcibly displaced where the state is only vaguely present or fails to fulfill its human rights commitments altogether. Some of these solidarity movements are situated more firmly within a "humanitarian" sphere where the emphasis is on saving lives without making any political claims. But many of these solidarity movements also make political claims concerning the situation of those in exile, which distinguish these practices from humanitarianism. Moreover, forcibly displaced people form their own networks and solidarity systems, acting in solidarity with one another based on family or ethnic ties, shared nationality, shared experiences or simply because of shared humanity.
This Research Topic calls for contributions that address solidarity with, for and by refugees in any part of the world. Potential questions for the contributions to address:
How does solidarity emerge in a forced displacement context? Which forms does it take? What kinds of practices are involved?
Why do people engage in solidarity practices? How do they explain the reasons and motives for doing so? What kinds of emotional registers are involved in solidarity practices? What might pull one out of solidarity engagement?
How might solidarity practices impact on state politics and policy with regard to refugees and forced displacement?
Keywords: refugee policy, solidarity network, forced migration, refugees, solidarity movement
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