From Exile to Homeland Return: Ethnographic Mapping to Inform Peacebuilding from Afar [article]


When violent conflict flares up, forced migration often follows. Ethnographic data shows that forced migrants remain attached to their places of origin and often express a desire to return once conflict has abated, be it after weeks, months, or years. Conversely, peacebuilders in the homeland have not effectively integrated displaced persons within their strategic programming. This is cause for concern considering the literature connecting the collapse of fragile peace to ‘refugee spoilers.’ There is a critical gap in peacebuilders’ commitment to understanding refugees’ needs and claims, and the implications these pose on peace stability following repatriation. This article argues that ethnography of refugees still living in exile can generate rich datasets useful to the development of peacebuilding programming. More than this, it proposes a methodology — ethnographic mapping — that can collect both spatial (maps) and narrative (descriptions) information in tandem and across cultural groups living in refugee camps.


Parent, N., 2020. From Exile to Homeland Return: Ethnographic Mapping to Inform Peacebuilding from Afar. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 9(1), p.7. DOI:


This article is published through Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, a publication based out of the Centre for Security Governance (CSG). It is available for viewing and download here.


Social-cultural hierarchies, states of exception, and liminality [guest lecture]


mcgill crest

This guest lecture was prepared for GEOG217 Cities in the Modern World, co-taught by Benjamin Forest and Chris Erl at the Department of Geography, McGill University. Here, case-based migration phenomena are explored through three theoretical prisms, aligned to three learning objectives:

  1. To show how migration phenomena engages with persisting social-cultural hierarchies
  2. To explore the nexus between migrant spaces and states of exception
  3. To identify interlinkages between the politics of migration and the experience of migrants through the concept of liminality

While the content explored is not exceptional to the Global South, examples are drawn from here in order to complement content explored through GEOG217.


The video-recorded lecture can be viewed below.

A turning tide? Venezuelan displacement and migration governance in Peru [article]


This article explores the emergence of a ‘moral panic’ (Cohen 1972) in Peru. Resulting from a high influx of Venezuelans over the last few years, fear has spread like wildfire, where politicians have increasingly instrumentalized this for their own political gains.

The article is co-written with Dr. Luisa Feline Freier at the Universidad del Pacifico (Political and Social Sciences) in Lima, Peru.


The article is published (11.12.2019) through the Migration Policy Centre blog, published by the European University Institute and Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies. It can be read here.


Ethnographic mapping for more inclusive environmental mediation in areas of return migration [slides]


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.

Migration and Development [syllabus]

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.Upacifico