Design by Nazli Cem (For more information https://www.nazlicem.com/)
Everyday Politics of Forced Migration: Refugees, Host Community Members, and the Local Context
This dissertation adds to and broadens the literature on forced migration by explaining how everyday politics influence new social dynamics in cities of arrival. Most of the existing research focuses on the Western context and highlights the cultural differences between the host community members and the refugees who arrive from outside of Europe and North America. To analyse whether these findings are applicable in non–Western contexts, I examine a South–South forced migration context in which both groups share the religion (Islam) but not the language (Turkish vs Arabic) through the case of Çarşamba (a district of the province of Bursa in Turkey). I argue that everyday politics has been overlooked in the literature and explain why everyday politics is important to understand the new social dynamics following a refugee influx that leads to sudden demographic changes. I analyse the dynamics of everyday politics between host community members and refugees and their perceptions of local state authorities through two research streams: local governance and intergroup encounters. I expand these research streams by engaging them with the role of urban public spaces in everyday politics. I theorise that both host community members and refugees engage in micro manifestations of implicit and explicit reactions to sudden demographic change in their everyday lives. I demonstrate this in three different research papers. In the first paper, I study the role of positionality in conducting interviews with host community members as a host community member in a forced migration context. In the second paper, I analyse the relationship between intergroup encounters in urban public spaces. In the third paper, I study local refugee governance practices to analyse their influence on the everyday lives of refugees. I thereby make methodological, theoretical, and conceptual contributions to forced migration studies. The results show that everyday politics is a key aspect in explaining why social conflict is not specific to South–North forced migration contexts and can also be observed in South–South contexts.