FFVT Summer School 2022 “Displacement, governance and human rights”

In the summer of 2021, the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees turned 70. What progress has been made since 1951 — in particular with regard to the human rights situation of the people concerned? Which gaps remain — on which governance level — and how can we address them? What role do forced migration and refugee studies play in this — and what role could they play? Which risks and difficulties should we be aware of — and what opportunities exist to overcome these challenges? What do we need to consider when establishing a sustainable field of studies that does justice to the inherent complexities of the topic?

Bringing together junior academics in forced migration and refugee studies to tackle these questions, is the goal of the interdisciplinary summer school “Displacement, governance and human rights”, which will take place in Nuremberg, Germany from 10.-15.7.2022 and is hosted by the Centre for Human Rights Erlangen-Nuremberg (CHREN). It is open to Master and PhD students as well as post-docs of any disciplinary background and is embedded in the project “Forced Migration and Refugee Studies: Networking and Knowledge Transfer” (FFVT).

To build a solid base to reflect upon related issues and their intersections, this summer school will bring together different disciplinary approaches. In a first bloc, it will cover the emergence and status quo of the global refugee regime and the relevance of universal human rights in this regard: To what extent are human rights being implemented for refugees and what exactly is required with regard to such rights? Then, it will critically assess claims of ‘tackling the (root-) causes of displacement’ through ‘developmental policy or cooperation’ and different nation-states’ and regions’ set-ups/regimes for receiving displaced people. The second half of the summer school focusses on the actors involved in Germany and, in particular, on the local level: While the existence of refugees emanates from the nation-state system itself, and national governments claim sovereignty over their borders, they are not the only actors involved: Private actors, NGOs/civil society, international organisations and municipal governments have increasingly engaged in reformulating responses toward displaced people.

The summer school will cover the following topics:

  • the historical emergence of human rights and refugee protection standards, including post-colonial perspectives,
  • questions of societal acceptance, discourses and media portrayal of asylum,
  • formal governance and less visible administrative practices,
  • the changing configurations of today’s refugee regimes in different parts of the world, on different levels of governance, and
  • multiple actors’ perspectives, including experiences made by the people on the move themselves.

Workshops on research methods and research ethics will complement a variety of expert inputs. In addition, this summer school will not only be framed by a cultural programme in the heart of Nuremberg, the ‘City of Peace and Human Rights’, but also includes gatherings with practitioners working in the field that may serve as a ‘reality check’ for academics dealing with these topics. Finally, it also serves as a platform for networking and offers time and space for an open exchange of ideas. To do so, it includes colloquia to discuss participants’ research projects.

Confirmed guest lecturers:

·      Dr. Amanda Coffie, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy, University of Ghana

·      Dr. Evan Easton-Calabria, Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford

·      Dr. Fiorenza Picozza, Instituto de Geografía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)

All further information regarding the programme and the modalities of participation will be published here shortly — stay tuned!