1st Edition

Refugees in Extended Exile Living on the Edge

By Jennifer Hyndman, Wenona Giles Copyright 2017
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book argues that the international refugee regime and its ‘temporary’ humanitarian interventions have failed. Most refugees across the global live in ‘protracted’ conditions that extend from years to decades, without legal status that allows them to work and establish a home. It is contended that they become largely invisible to people based in the global North, and cease to remain fully human subjects with access to their political lives. Shifting the conversation away from the salient discourse of ‘solutions’ and technical fixes within state-centric international relations, the authors recover the subjectivity lost for those stuck in extended exile.

    The book first argues that humanitarian assistance to refugees remains vital to people’s survival, even after the emergency phase is over. It then connects asylum politics in the global North with the intransigence of extended exile in the global South. By placing the urgent crises of protracted exile within a broader constellation of power relations, both historical and geographical, the authors present research and empirical findings gleaned from refugees in Iran, Kenya and Canada and from humanitarian and government workers. Each chapter reveals patterns of power circulating through the ‘colonial present’, Cold War legacies, and the global ‘war on terror".

    Seeking to render legible the more quotidian struggles and livelihoods of people who find themselves defined as refugees, this book will be of great interest to international humanitarian agencies, as well as migration and refugee researchers, including scholars in refugee studies and human displacement, human security, globalization, immigration, and human rights.



    Chapter 1 Introduction: Invisible lives and silent disasters

    Chapter 2 Securitization versus Protection in a Refugee Camp

    Chapter 3 Contextualizing Indefinite Exile

    Chapter 4 States of Emergency? Managing Refugees in Theory and Practice

    Chapter 5 "It’s so cold here; we feel this coldness": Refugee Resettlement After Long-Term Exile

    Chapter 6 Conclusion


    Jennifer Hyndman is a Professor in Social Science and Geography at York University in Toronto, where she is also Director of the Centre for Refugee Studies. Her research focuses on the geopolitics of forced migration, the biopolitics of refugee camps, humanitarian responses to war and displacement, and resettlement policy and outcomes in North America. Hyndman is author of Dual Disasters: Humanitarian Aid after the 2004 Tsunami (2011), Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), and co-editor with Wenona Giles of, Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones (University of California Press, 2004). Before taking an academic path, Hyndman worked briefly for the NGO CARE in Kenya and UNHCR in Somalia where she developed an intense affinity for the politics of displacement.

    Wenona Giles is a Resident Research Associate of the Centre for Refugee Studies and Professor, Anthropology Department, York University, where she teaches and publishes in the areas of gender, forced migration, globalization, migration, nationalism, and war. In addition to many articles, her books include Immigration and Nationalism: Two Generations of Portuguese Women in Toronto (University of Toronto Press 2002), co-edited publications: Development and Diaspora: Gender and the Refugee Experience (Artemis, 1996); a two-volume issue of Refuge on Gender Relations and Refugee Issues (1995), and a co-edited issue of Refuge on Higher Education for Refugees (2010-11); co-edited books, Feminists under Fire: Exchanges across War Zones (Between the Lines Press, Toronto 2003), Sites of Violence: Gender and Conflict Zones (with Jennifer Hyndman and published at University of California Press, 2004) and When Care Work Goes Global: Locating the Social Relations of Domestic Work (with Mary Romero and Valerie Preston, Ashgate 2014). She co-founded and co-coordinated the International Women in Conflict Zones Research Network (1993-2004). She is currently the Director of a multi-year project (2013-18) funded by the Canadian Government that brings degree programs from Kenyan and Canadian universities to refugees in the Dadaab refugee camps, Kenya.

    'The plight of refugees has attracted unusual political attention since the accelerated flow into Europe of people fleeing acute threats in the Middle East. But this focus ignores the larger, endemic failure to address global refugee needs that are of long standing, a critical element of the "crisis". Extended Exile is the corrective to the myopic current focus. It addresses critical issues about the current refugee situation with scholarly acumen and empirical depth. The book uses the academic literature to probe the paradox of solutions that perpetuate failure, and protection that denudes very large groups of people of rights. For advocates interested in the practical challenges of enhancing the rights of communities trapped for generations in camps like Dadaab and Kakuma, this book provides a masterful exploration of the policy and conceptual context. For scholars engaged with explorations of the role of mobility in the contemporary global sphere, this book provides compelling  evidence of the considerable challenges ahead. This book is an invaluable source of information and ideas for anyone concerned with refugee and migration issues'. - Jacqueline Bhabha, Harvard University, USA

    'Refugees in Extended Exile is a classic: bold and convincing, it makes visible the invisible refugees living in long-term displacement in camps in the global south. Hyndman and Giles, ask pertinent and probing questions about the plight and future of the refugees living on the edge of everyday politics and decisions: how did the millions of refugees in the global south end up living for many years in exile, become marginalised, invisible, and without any permanent legal status? How do they survive and surmount the struggles of everyday life in the spaces of the camp for such long indefinite futures? How come that only less than 1 percent of refugees worldwide are allowed to leave the camps in the global south and resettle in the richer and developed countries of the global north? How can existing legal, political, and institutional frameworks be re-imagined in ways that allow engendering different futures, politics, and policies that embrace refugees as fellow human beings? These and other questions make Refugees in Extended Exile urgent, absorbing, and indispensable reading for anyone who wishes to understand how refugees end up in camps for years if not decades without any permanent solution to their plight and wants to see action taken to end this inhuman and degrading treatment meted out on fellow human beings.' - Zachary Lomo, St Augustine International University, Uganda