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Djordje Stefanovic (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax) & Neophytos G. Loizides (University of Kent) Conflict Research Society, Leeds 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Djordje Stefanovic (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax) & Neophytos G. Loizides (University of Kent) Conflict Research Society, Leeds 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Djordje Stefanovic (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax) & Neophytos G. Loizides (University of Kent) Conflict Research Society, Leeds 2014

2 The ‘Return Home’ Puzzle What explains voluntary yet difficult decisions of victims of ethnic cleansing to return home despite: the passage of time and new opportunities hostile local authorities opposition from new occupants/settlers What explains variation in initial intentions and actual return outcomes?

3 Global Importance Global Forced Displacement tops 50 Million for First Time in post- World War II Era (UNHCR, 2014). Figures reflect rapid escalation of conflicts in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa as well as about 30 protracted refugee situations affecting some 6.4 million refugees (UNHCR, 2013:12) Contradictory evidence as to whether return is feasible or in some cases even desirable (Jansen, 2009; Adelman & Barkan, 2011)

4 Irreversibility Thesis Adelman and Barkan are probably the strongest proponents of the ‘irreversibility thesis’ we aim to question in our work. They emphatically argue that ‘the ideology and commitment to return conveys the notion of repatriation as a distant, impractical solution in the face of real desperation’ (Adelman and Barkan 2011:xvii).

5 Hypotheses Fear of Violence (Lake & Rothchilld, 1996; Walter, 1999) Individual Level Predictors age, war time loss, gender Contextual Factors settlers, composition of village/city, security forces Better Life, Employment and Financial Alternatives (Zetter, 1994; IGC, 2002) Memories of Home (Hammond, 1999; Loizos, 2009; Jansen, 2009) Social Capital – ‘community effort’ hypothesis (Putnam, 1993; Varshney, 2001)

6 Research Design Quantitative Analysis Measuring intentions (Cyprus) vs. outcomes (Kurdish and Bosnia data) Representative samples (Cyprus and Bosnia) and non- representative (Turkey) Qualitative Analysis Data Collection: Participant observation and qualitative interviews (local elites, (non) returnees and new occupants/ settlers) Secondary reports and press coverage

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11 Findings: Dissimilarities Contrary to conventional wisdom the data suggest that economic advancement and social integration increase willingness to return home (Greek Cypriot sample) Integration in a new environment in Western Turkey, measured by economic advancement and knowledge of Turkish, reduces the likelihood of return (Kurdish sample) Returnees with a better educational profile tend to be more likely to return to their ancestral lands in Greek Cypriot and Kurdish samples, but not in Bosnia

12 Findings: Common Patterns Older men are more likely to be returnees Community return matters. Especially, among Kurds and Bosnians there is a strong impact on the chances of individual return

13 Thank you


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