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Thus, it seems worthwhile to focus on the intersection of social ties and obligations and the reasons for fleeing, including very personal ones as forced marriage. Frequently, we find a mixture of general security concerns e.


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However, these flight motives are often closely linked to social obligations. Several of our interviewees mentioned that the final decision to flee was only taken when a personal threat e. An illustrative case is a year-old male Pashtun from Kandahar, whose brother had been killed several years earlier by the Taliban.

The interviewee himself fell victim to a suicide attack in which he was severely wounded and lost the vision of one of his eyes.

Social Networks and Migration in Wartime Afghanistan : Kristian Berg Harpviken :

Yet, it was not until his two young children were threatened to be kidnapped for ransom that he and his family left the country. When I consider my situation, without education, under no circumstance did I want my children to suffer the same fate. Education is very important!

The obligation to support family members, kin or friends focuses mainly on organizing the flight itself. Close relatives e. Yet, the support does not stop here. It is granted throughout the whole flight process by sending money to allow the continuation of the flight, by putting a refugee in contact with acquaintances that may facilitate further movements, or by offering advice for what to do next when a problem appears.

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This section relaxes these assumptions to consider how additional factors can also shape aggregate resettlement patterns. In particular, I focus on two: the offer of assistance by state or international actors, and host state policies. The displaced seek security, but they also need assistance: they have lost most of their assets, typically must care for children, and have suffered trauma Moya, Assistance can be provided by the origin state itself, the receiving state, social and kin networks, strangers in new communities, or the international community.

What influence does this have on resettlement? The international humanitarian regime has increased its foreign aid to refugees and IDPs substantially over the last four decades Fearon, In some cases, then, the presence of refugee camps or IDP camps could alter what the destination of the displaced would otherwise have been. One example is Darfur. So why did the Darfuri remain in the country, rather than cross the border? One reason could be that the humanitarian community was able to provide assistance within Darfur, rather than across the border. At the same time, it is not clear how much weight the displaced give to assistance.

Returning to the case of Iraq, the presence of UNHCR camps in Jordan did not significantly affect the predominant form of resettlement that emerged in , when IDPs remained within Baghdad or their home region. A second additional factor that could affect resettlement is the policy of potential receiving states. Some states implement policies that redirect or block where refugees would resettle otherwise. Host states sometimes prefer to keep refugees in camps rather than allow them to resettle independently.

In Kenya, in the s refugees lived on the coast and in Mombasa, but eventually the government decided to force refugees into camps Crisp, Motivations for state policy vary Fisk, : fn 63 , but security is often a key justification, as was the case in Kenya Jacobsen, : Another motive is often an attempt to avoid dispersion and long-term residence in the host state Crisp, : , a demand which may come from local communities Jacobsen, : If on average states that face large refugee populations favor refugee camps, then we should observe more expulsion compared to what we would expect from the baseline argument.

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State policies can also effectively group several clusters together, as in Kenya: Crisp : , points out that the largest camps in Kenya included inhabitants from ten countries and 20 ethnic groups. In other words, as international assistance increases and state policies favor camps, expulsion should become relatively more frequent.

At the same time, if assistance is offered more and more within the host state, segregation and integration are more likely depending on the provider of the assistance. Incorporating this set of factors is a promising avenue to refine the expectations of the theory, especially over time.

The conceptual and theoretical frameworks advanced here can be tested empirically, forming the basis of a research agenda to advance our understanding of civilian resettlement. As a step in this direction, I distill some testable implications of the argument. One advantage of this framework is that even though it is based on micro-level logic, it leads to implications at the aggregate level, which should allow for testing across and within wars.

A first challenge is to create a measure of resettlement patterns. This would involve identifying clusters of displaced people, both within home states and abroad. In the absence of reliable estimates of camp sizes, one indicator could be the number of official camps in proportion to the estimated IDP population which is collected by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center on behalf of UNHCR.

Careful case studies can validate such cross-country data: it is likely that counting formal camps will overlook informal enclaves and underestimate expulsion and segregation as a result, and that integration and dispersion will suffer from undercounting as well. An implication of the theory is that wars that feature higher levels of political cleansing should produce higher levels of segregation and expulsion, relative to wars that have more indiscriminate and selective violence.

For instance, if the war is an ethnic civil war, in which collective targeting based on ethnic or sectarian identity is common, then a high proportion of the population may be ensnared by political cleansing. As a result, segregation and expulsion should be relatively more frequent than in wars with no clear identity-based cleavage for collective targeting. Cross-cutting cleavages should make integration and dispersion more common. Process-tracing methods could then identify perpetrators of the cleansing and whether or not the expected destinations match the argument.

We could also draw on existing scholarship to reason about the likely relative frequency of resettlement patterns depending on warfare type. However, different types of warfare may generate different frequencies of targeting type and forms of displacement. Armed groups in SNCs, by contrast, may not have enough resources to hold territory so may resort more frequently to indiscriminate targeting.

As a result, we can test the extent to which conventional civil wars are associated with segregation and expulsion, compared to irregular civil wars, which are more likely to produce a wider range of patterns. SNCs should be most associated with dispersion and integration. A final implication can leverage changes over time within one war. When the predominant cleavage of a war shifts, we should expect a shift in the patterns of resettlement as well. An example is what occurred in Iraq in once the cleavage of the war coalesced around sectarian identities, the pattern of resettlement shifted to segregation — non-state armed groups targeted civilians, who sought to resettle with one another, remaining in Iraq.

While testing these implications is beyond the scope of this article, it is a potentially fruitful direction for future research. The resettlement patterns typology not only introduces a new dependent variable, but also offers a new way to think about the importance of wartime displacement for violence, conflict, and state-building through resettlement patterns.

This exercise indicates that the typology could serve as a guide for case selection and scope conditions when theorizing the likely forms of conflict and violence associated with refugees and IDPs. Resettlement patterns may be linked to the likelihood of violence associated with refugees and IDPs in both the receiving and origin states. A rich literature addresses violence against refugees and IDPs e. One of the earliest frameworks to link the characteristics of the displaced with the risk for violence was developed by Lischer While Lischer studied vulnerability among camps, Fisk finds that large clusters of self-settled refugees are more likely to be attacked by armed groups than those living in camps across sub-Saharan Africa.

Such clusters might also reflect expulsion even though they were not living in formal camps. Counter-intuitively, refugees seeking safety in open communities that do not require submission to local authorities are more vulnerable when violence does break out. Among IDPs, segregation and integration have been linked to different patterns of violence and conflict as well. The redistribution of large numbers of a subset of the population is likely to have implications for the territorial reach of competing armed groups. Clustering itself can also endanger refugees or IDPs Steele, In terms of the likelihood of conflict at the local level, the form of resettlement might also play an important role in shaping the type of conflict we should expect.

Following La Violencia in Colombia, part of the reconciliation measures involved formalizing these swaps Karl, This could be a specific challenge in some postwar settings that experience segregation compared to land reform, for instance.

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Civilian resettlement patterns in civil war

The implications of resettlement patterns on state-building are relevant for both origin and host states. Though expulsion is no longer a legitimate means to state-build, it still occurs within the context of civil wars. Expulsion and dispersion also have implications for the state-building and nation-building potential of host countries. Jacobsen : , points out that refugees have led to the formation of new bureaucracies in several receiving states, as well as the deployment of the military. Long-term assimilation in the host state may also relate to expulsion and dispersion.

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Malkki shows that dispersed refugees were much less likely to share an ethnic, nationalist identity with their home state. Refugee resettlement patterns could influence the relationship the host state has with the sending state, and what policies the host state adopts towards the refugees over the long term. By , refugees accounted for only one-third of the overall population of the displaced, while two-thirds remained within their origin state.

Whether those IDPs segregate or integrate is likely to be consequential for state-building. In cases of segregation, it may be important which actor is in control of the territory where the displaced resettle. In Colombia following the displacement of Liberals during La Violencia , several armed groups emerged alongside the new colonization of these regions.

The incipient FARC was one: it helped organize and regulate the new communities. Over time, these areas became strongholds of the insurgency Steele, Peripheral areas of resettlement can be more difficult to govern in the future because of armed or unarmed resistance to government encroachment. This is one example of how resettlement upends possibilities for post-conflict reconstruction — an area that is still understudied Salehyan, : At the other end of the spectrum, Toft argues that segregated groups are more likely to engage in separatist conflict.

Segregation between territories controlled by the state and insurgents can reinforce polarization through physical segregation. Over the long term, the distribution of the population can form the basis of long-term cleavages that shape political order, for instance through political party formation.


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Integration is a possible mechanism for contemporary state-building, especially in states where cities become an attractive destination. In some cases, integration itself might drive urbanization as more and more displaced try to make a place for themselves in cities. While the strain of demands on urban growth can be difficult for a developing country to meet, it can also spur administrative innovation.

Civilian resettlement patterns in civil war

This article has presented a new characterization of civilian resettlement in civil wars. Patterns of resettlement diverge depending on whether or not the displaced cluster together, and whether or not they cross international borders. The combination yields four ideal-types: expulsion, dispersion, segregation, and integration.

Resettlement patterns, I argue, result from the form of displacement civilians experience, and if the actor responsible for the displacement is a state or its ally, or a rebel group. Though the theory is not tested here, the article lays the groundwork to test the implications of the argument. The first step will be to validate the typology descriptively, then assess its explanatory power. Finally, the article also points to the ways that resettlement patterns can influence ongoing violence, conflict, and state-building.

Contemporary wars have led to the displacement of more than 60 million people — more than at any other time in history.