This presentation was given as part of a panel titled “Approaches to Prevent and End Environmental Conflicts,” presented at the 1st International Conference on Environmental Peacebuilding (23-25 October 2019), University of California, Irvine.
The presentation slides are available here. Presentation notes can be made available upon request.
This course was co-developed and co-taught by myself and Prof. Dr. Luisa Feline Freier at the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the Universidad del Pacífico (Lima, Peru).
Since the end of the Cold War, migration has increasingly become a contentious issue in the domains of both domestic and foreign policy. Why do some countries maintain a viewpoint that migration is a central component of development, while others do everything in their power to limit the entry of immigrants, often for the sake of national security? What is the difference between migrants and refugees, and what responsibilities do states have towards them? Are there factors that facilitate or hinder migrant integration in host countries? What is the role of state and citizen in the ‘age of migration’? In the wake of events of mass displacement, such as Syrians fleeing war in the Middle East, African economic migrants and refugees trying to reach the European Union, or the exodus of Venezuelans because of political and economic instability in their home country, these questions are taking on increasing importance, both domestically and internationally.
This course is developed as an introduction to migration studies, seeking to make links between migration – forced and voluntary – and a variety of development topics. This course takes on an interdisciplinary approach that seeks to give students a broad yet focused sense of how migration and development intersect. Through the design and undertaking of a case study research project, students actively engage with the subject.
Full syllabus download
Please find the full syllabus here.
The Emerging Scholars & Practitioners on Migration Issues (ESPMI) Network leads a Discussion Series that “welcomes authors from around the world to provide critical perspectives on migration issues by sharing their research and experiences in the field of migration and refugee studies.”
“Creative Methods of Dissemination in Forced Migration Research” asked scholars and practitioners to reflect on the following questions:
- What are the opportunities and challenges involved in creative methods of dissemination?
- How are alternative forms of media (including art, films, poetry, graphic narratives, performances, podcasts) being used to disseminate research on forced migration issues?
- What tools can be utilized to co-produce outputs and to actively engage with communities involved in research?
My answer to these questions can be found here.
The following guest lecture – titled “Venezuelan exodus: Humanitarian crisis, migration, and regional responses” – was presented to students of Global Politics of Contemporary Migration (UCOR 3600-07/SOCW 3910-01), a course at Seattle University instructed by Prof. Dr. Dustin Welch García .
The lecture is partly based on Freier, Luisa Feline and Parent, Nicolas. 2019. “The Regional Response to the Venezuelan Exodus,” Current History: A Journal of Contemporary World Affairs 118, no. 805: 56-61.
As local participation has been central to some peacebuilding efforts, the voice and role of migrants within such frameworks is seldom considered. In the case of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country qualified not only by high levels of forced displacement, but also as having one of the world’s highest rate of voluntary repatriation, agency of return migrants should be further considered in attempts to strengthen peace and cooperation in the region. A fundamental step in achieving this is by recognizing that Congolese refugees have a historical, personal and cultural connection to their place of origin albeit being spatially separated from it. Challenging a ‘sedentary bias’ which contends that deterritorialization strips migrants from their spatiocultural roots, there is a need to investigate how memory, identity and culture play an important role in how refugees remember and plan their return to the homeland. Specifically, in the context of a region where conflict is often attributed to ethnic, land-based, and resource extraction issues, an ethnographic understanding of this group can be particularly useful in placing migrant agency within current and future environmental peacebuilding frameworks in the DRC.
Parent, Nicolas. 2019. “Displacement, return and environmental peacebuilding: Congolese refugees and the potential of ethnographic research,” Tvergastein Interdisciplinary Journal of the Environment, no. 12: 30-37.
This article is published through Tvergastein Interdisciplinary Journal of the Environment, a publication based out of the Centre for Development and Environment (SUM), University of Oslo. The article appears in Tvergastein‘s thematic issue on ‘Peace and the Environment’. It is available for viewing and download here.