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Refugees and the city: an urban discussion

Sanyal, Romola ORCID: 0000-0001-5942-5634 (2012) Refugees and the city: an urban discussion. Geography Compass, 6 (11). pp. 633-644. ISSN 1749-8198

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Identification Number: 10.1111/gec3.12010


There has been resurgence in interest in both popular media and academic research on refugees as subjects of incarceration in camps and as a growing population in cities. While the urbanization of refugees is not new, it has become a growing concern for policy-makers, aid agencies and scholars as the numbers of refugees moving to cities have accelerated. There has been debate over the urbanity of camps due to protracted refugee crises and increasingly, there is recognition that despite the efforts of host governments, self- settlement of refugees is taking place in cities. The two issues therefore make the city an important framework to interrogate the spaces of refugees. This paper attempts to show the complexity of refugee politics and socializing in camps and in cities by showing a variety of refugee spaces and practices in different parts of the world and using urban debates-particularly urban informality to draw links between refugee spaces and cities. The aim is to debunk universalizing myths about refugees and refugee camps as subjects and spaces of bare life and bio-politics alone. Instead it draws parallels between the urban poor and refugees to offer a perspective on the close and complex relationship cities, refugee spaces and their residents have with each other.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Author. Geography Compass © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2014 12:55
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2024 20:30

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