“To be without a home, like a rolling stone”: Anticipating the global management of forced migration flows and the social integration of asylum seekers

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The study investigates the practices of different forms of anticipatory knowledge of actors involved in the global management of forced migration flows in ‘migration hotspots’ (European Parliament, 2016). The study draws on an ongoing multi-sited study of professionals working in IGOs, NGOs and INGOs involved in the future management and governance of Syrian, Palestinian Syrian, Saharaoui, Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers. The study is based on shadowing 5 managers across different in-office and in-field locations and 24 months of fieldwork in informal tented settlements in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, Laayoune, Western Sahara, and southern Tel-Aviv, Israel. The paper provides a detailed account of how actors rely on anticipatory knowledge practices (Gusterson 2008) such as using hi-tech forecasting technologies, politically and religiously infused rankings, and covert field measurements—all for estimating the movements and framing the choices, freedoms and rights of asylum seekers. The study shows how anticipatory practices constitute asylum seekers as ‘global problems’ which reinforce dominance relations of ‘vulnerability’ and remove individuals’ agency while providing them with life-saving solutions. The findings show the paradoxical implications of anticipatory governance as it creates undefined spaces between nation-states in which asylum seekers are confined, cannot become self-reliant and do not have access to resilient social integration programs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventThe American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2017 - Washington, United States
Duration: 29 Nov 20173 Dec 2017
Conference number: 116


ConferenceThe American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
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