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Pity the exiled: Turkish academics in exile, the problem of compassion in politics and the promise of dis-exile

Sertdemir Ozdemir, Seckin (2019) Pity the exiled: Turkish academics in exile, the problem of compassion in politics and the promise of dis-exile. Journal of Refugee Studies. ISSN 0951-6328

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Identification Number: 10.1093/jrs/fey076

Abstract

Grounded in the moral responsibility to help those who seek assistance and refuge, humanitarian-aid organizations occupy a central place in our contemporary social life. The question arises as to whether the humanitarian response can provide solutions for those exiled by political persecution. In interdisciplinary work in political philosophy and ethnography, I examine the experiences of politically exiled scholars from Turkey who have received temporary postdoctoral fellowships in European institutions of higher learning through ‘academics at risk’ organizations fashioned on humanitarian principles. Welcomed in their European hostlands as ‘victims’ of and ‘refugees’ from autocratic countries, these academics have become marginalized by an anonymizing victim–saviour discourse perfused with the moral sentiments of pity and compassion. Rejecting the emptying-out of their political agency and critical academic acumen by such humanitarian gestures, they have turned to strategies of ‘dis-exile’ that seek to reintroduce singularity, collective action and solidarity into the political realm.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 Oxford University Press
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2019 09:36
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2020 23:34
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100810

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