The Global Refugee Crisis:  Mobile People under State Protection or Exploitation?   
Date: 05 January 2018 - 06 January 2018 Time: 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM  
Speaker(s): Various Venue: MEI Conference Room, Level 6
Block B, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Singapore 119620




an International Conference Co-Organized by

Conference Statement:

A picture of a three-year-old Syrian boy drowning in the Mediterranean Sea caught the eyes of the world in 2015. The large numbers of displaced people from the Middle East and North Africa, mainly due to conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Libya, have not been seen since WWII. Among the recent mass movements, there are people fleeing persecution and violence, as well as people fleeing instability and poverty in search of better living conditions. Of the millions who have so far left their homes in search of protection, some have received asylum, while many have experienced rejection and discrimination, fallen victims of trafficking, or perished during the journey – thousands have reportedly drowned in the Mediterranean sea. The phenomenon increasingly mirrors a humanitarian disaster. These mass movements are important not only from a humanitarian perspective but also for their impact on the global political structure and economic system. Western countries have been split over this issue, and in some societies racism and xenophobia against migrants and refugees alike have been exacerbated.

The Relational Studies on Global Crises Project, inter-university academic project sponsored by Grant-in-aid (KAKENHI) in Japan since 2016, considers global phenomena as products of a web of interconnections, and focuses on the transformation of those relationships, rather than on the actors' essential qualities. As refugee/migrant problems cannot be ascribed to the mobile people themselves, but to “subsystems of an increasingly global economic and political system,” where migration should be understood as a “collective phenomena” (Castles and Miller 2009), they mirror the intertwined and complicated situation of the contemporary globalized world.

The Center for Relational Studies on Global Crises (RSGC) in Chiba University, a key operation center for the project, will hold a conference on this subject in collaboration with the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore. The conference serves as a concourse with the aim of exchanging ideas and information on the Middle East in Singapore, Asia and the world as the issue of mass movements is a global phenomenon affecting all countries and regions particularly at those at the crossroads between Asia and the Middle East, like Singapore and Southeast Asia. The organizers hope this conference will contribute to the further development of interdisciplinary approaches to refugee/migrant problems from a new perspective focusing on networks and relationship, upon the unique collaboration between two research institutions in Asia. The ultimate goal of the conference is that is outcome will positively influence scholars on this subject as well as policy makers, especially in the Asian region, towards a more international approaches to refugees and migrant workers.


Click HERE  to access a brief draft of the conference programme with details of the list of conference speakers and paper titles.




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