Black - Chapter 06 | eBooks | Non-Fiction

Black - Chapter 06

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Buy and Download Description Explanations for the promotion of 'voluntary repatriation' as the preferred solution to the refugee cycle in the 1980s and 1990s tend to be sought in the field of international relations. Is it a reactive solution to problems within the international organisations? Harrell-Bond (1989) argues that it may be cheaper than long-term protection in the host countries. Allen and Turton (1996) view it as a 'pragmatic' response by the international community to avoid giving serious consideration to the other two 'durable' solutions and to reduce the likelihood of manipulation by host governments hungry for international assistance. They also imply that it goes hand in glove with the 'new realism' of 'militarised humanitarianism' (Allen and Turton 1996: 3). The increasing salience of national identities in the vacuum left by the end of the Cold War and its concomitant 'western'/'communist' ideologies is no doubt a further component. It is perhaps in this latter sense that the current High Commissioner for Refugees herself believes that 'properly planned and funded repatriation can help bring national and regional stability' (UNHCR 1994d). There is little room in these explanations to examine the motivations and practices of the refugees themselves, despite the gesture towards refugee agency implicit in the use of the qualifier 'voluntary'. Nor is much attention paid to the impact of the local socioeconomic and political context on the actual implementation of this policy. In this chapter I examine the Voluntary Repatriation Programme of Mozambicans from South Africa, a remarkably unsuccessful component of an operation which a UNHCR publication proudly described as 'the largest such program ever undertaken by UNHCR in Africa' (Dixon-Fyle 1994: 24). Explanations for the promotion of 'voluntary repatriation' as the preferred solution to the refugee cycle in the 1980s and 1990s tend to be sought in the field of international relations. Is it a reactive solution to problems within the internatio
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