CFP: Forced Displacement, Refugeehood, and Injustice - MANCEPT Workshops 2022

Submission deadline: May 20, 2022

Conference date(s):
September 7, 2022 - September 8, 2022

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Manchester Centre for Political Theory (MANCEPT), University of Manchester
Manchester, United Kingdom

Topic areas


Every year, millions of people are forced to leave their homes due to conflicts, political persecution, violence, and natural disasters. As a response, the political philosophy of forced migration has been growing. Theorists have begun investing different conceptual and normative issues, including who is a refugee, whether there is a special duty to protect refugees and what this duty would entail, what are the appropriate responses on the part of host states, what is solidarity with refugees, as well as what is owed to those displaced by climate change (Aleinikoff & Zamore 2019; Betts & Collier 2017; Buxton 2019; Cherem 2016; Hathaway 2007; Lister 2013, 2014; Miller 2017; Miller & Straehle 2020; Owen 2020; Parekh 2020; Price 2009; Shacknove 1985; Straehle 2020).

The global refugee regime basically offers to forcibly displaced people an ‘impossible choice’ among three options: long-term encampment, urban destitution in a neighbouring country, or dangerous journeys to the global North (Betts & Collier 2017). All these choices are very costly for refugees, each coming with its own distinctive harms and deprivation. Therefore Parekh (2020) highlights that the European refugee crisis started in 2015 hides a second crisis, that is the inability for these people to access minimum conditions of human dignity and the fulfilment of their human rights while they wait for a more permanent solution.

We can identify at least two issues that are currently undertheorized. First, internally displaced people have been neglected because the focus tends to remain on those forced migrants who seek asylum in the global North. Second, a third “crisis” should be added to those identified by Parekh: namely, the inability of the global refugee regime to address politically the protection of people that are displaced for reasons other than political persecution or generalized violence (e.g., victims of sexual and gender-based violence and climate displaced people).

This workshop aims to explore three main dimensions – internal displacement, border-crossing, and protection rights of specific groups of forced migrants. We welcome submissions investigating conceptual and definitory issues. Moreover, we are interested both in highlighting the commonalities among the experiences of different categories of displaced people and in conceptualizing the distinctive experiences of displacement of specific groups – such as women, LGBTQAI+, persons with disabilities, elderly people, etc. We also aim at exploring normative issues, concerning the wrongs of displacement and what is unjust in how the global refugee regime is handling displacement.

Questions that papers may address include:

-          What is forced displacement?

-          How should forcibly displaced people be defined? Do we need new definitions to widen the range of protection?

-          What harms and wrongs are involved in internal displacement?

-          What are the peculiarities in the displacement experiences of intersectional groups like women, LGBTQAI+, and people with disabilities?

-          What is unjust of the current global refugee regime? Who is responsible for this injustice?

-          How should the global refugee regime address environmental displacement, given the responsibility of the global North in contributing to climate change?

This workshop is meant to be held in a hybrid manner, with some speakers presenting online and some in person.

If you would like to present a paper at this workshop, please send an anonymized abstract of 500-1,000 words to [email protected], by Friday the 20th of May. We warmly welcome papers from those with any form of experience or expertise regarding the workshop topic, and we particularly encourage early career researchers to submit an abstract. Please include your name and any affiliation in the body of the email, and specify whether you would prefer to come in person or to present online.

We will endeavour to inform you whether your abstract has been accepted by the 15th of June.

Papers will be pre-circulated and everyone attending the workshop will be asked to read the whole set of papers in advance (anticipated to be approx. 9 papers). The deadline to submit full versions of the conference papers (8,000-10,000 words) will be August 25th.

Please note that all attendees will be expected to register (and pay a registration fee). Registration for the conference opens in May. Speakers who are graduate students are eligible for a bursary covering the registration costs. The deadline for bursary applications will be June 27th, and successful applicants will be informed by the 11th of July. Further details and instructions on how to apply will be released in due course.

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