Jennifer Hyndman is director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto, where she is also a professor of geography. Her research focuses on the geopolitics of forced migration, the biopolitics of refugee camps, humanitarian responses to displacement, and refugee resettlement in North America. Her most recent book is Refugees in Extended Exile: Living on the Edge, with Wenona Giles (Routledge, 2017). Hyndman is author of Dual Disasters: Humanitarian Aid after the 2004 Tsunami (2011), Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism (2000), and co-editor with W. Giles of Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones (2004).


Re-imagining Migration in the Wake of ‘Crisis,’ Global Compacts, and Exclusion

During the Cold War, refugees enjoyed relative mobility and were valued as proof of ideological superiority. Containment of Communism prevailed. After the Cold War, containment refers to the 85 percent or more of refugees residing in the Global South. Refugee mobility and currency in global geopolitics has declined precipitously. Current state-centric approaches to global displacement (UNHCR 2018), such as the new global compacts on refugees and migrants this year, are not new and do not change the containment paradigm. How can we re-imagine migration and what space can be made that works for people who seek a secure home?  Drawing on the manifesto at and the Kolkata Declaration, this intervention calls for critical attention to the epistemological violence that categories create, especially between (worthy) refugees and (unworthy) migrants; the scaling down of grand state-centric narratives of governments to the narratives and ontologies of the refugee-migrant-asylum seekers to understand the decisions people make to leave; and a rethinking of security and protection that is self-authorized.

Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs
Robert A. Jones 59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury, VT 05753