Refugees as Actors? Critical Reflections on Global Refugee Policies on Self-reliance and Resilience

Autor(en): Krause, Ulrike 
Schmidt, Hannah
Stichwörter: ASSISTANCE; Demography; discourse; Ethnic Studies; GENDER EQUALITY; global refugee policies; PROMOTION; Resilience; SECURITY; self-reliance; vulnerability; WOMEN
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Herausgeber: OXFORD UNIV PRESS
Journal: JOURNAL OF REFUGEE STUDIES
Volumen: 33
Ausgabe: 1, SI
Startseite: 22
Seitenende: 41
Zusammenfassung: 
Global policies designed to promote the self-reliance and resilience of refugees strive to increase their abilities to deal with hardships; in doing so, they rhetorically shift refugees from the category of `vulnerable' to that of capable actors. This shift as well as policy effects on refugees are at the core of this article. The meanings in global refugee policies, and particularly in UNHCR policies on self-reliance and resilience, are explored through an interpretive analysis. The article shows that, in lieu of the assumed shift, these policies continue to use vulnerability ascriptions and thereby produce binary categories of vulnerable versus self-reliant or resilient refugees. `Objective' criteria are installed that obscure the idea of refugees as self-determined actors and lead to an understanding of them as `actors-to-be'. It is ultimately argued that self-reliance and resilience policies support the logic of traditional humanitarian aid and, rather than promoting refugees' own capabilities, strengthen the power of aid agencies over refugees.
ISSN: 09516328
DOI: 10.1093/jrs/fez059

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