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Engendering migration, development and belonging: The experiences of recently arrived Afghans in Europe
Research Question:

What are the experiences of recently arrived Afghans in Europe and how is the understanding of home, belonging and the ‘self ‘shaped by gender? How does this understanding affect their capacity and willingness to engage with development in Afghanistan? 

This project examines how gender shapes understandings of home, belonging and the self among recently arrived Afghan migrants in Europe. It explores the implications of these understandings for the capacity and willingness of Afghan migrants to engage with development in Afghanistan. The project expands on relationships between migration and development as seen in policy such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), considering also the hopes, desires and capacities of migrants. A multi-disciplinary framework, drawing on theories of gender, self-identity, migration and development is used to analyse qualitative data on four important destinations for recently arrived Afghans: Denmark, Germany, the UK and Switzerland. The project has three objectives. First, the project examines how subjective and socio-cultural understandings of gender in their communities of origin and host countries shape young Afghans’ desires. Second, it investigates how policy affects these desires and how receiving societies perceive and incorporate recently arrived Afghan migrants. Third, the project examines the implications of gendered desires for Afghan migrants’ identities and their contributions as development actors. The project will make four contributions to academic and policy discourses on migration and development, and the SDGs specifically. First, its gender focus on the specific backgrounds and reception conditions of recent Afghan migrants re-evaluates the assumptions of theory and practice of migration and development. Second, it specifies how gendered everyday experiences in Europe affect aspirations and capacities to contribute to Afghanistan. Third, it connects development of the ‘self’ with development of the ‘home country'. Finally, it refines the development contributions of migrants to countries with protracted conflict.

Starting

Project Members

Name Role Department/Institute Institution
Carolin Fischer Coordinator Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux (MAPS), Laboratoire d'études transnationales et des processus sociaux Université de Neuchâtel
Janine Dahinden Co-Coordinator Maison d'analyse des processus sociaux (MAPS), Laboratoire d'études transnationales et des processus sociaux Université de Neuchâtel
Alessandro Monsutti Co-Coordinator Anthropology and Sociology of Development Institut de hautes Etudes internationales et du Développement - Graduate Institute Geneva
Esra Kaytaz Principal Member Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations Coventry University
Mikkel Rytter Principal Member Department of Anthropology Aarhus Universitet
Emily Bowerman Associated Member Refugee Support Network (RSN) Other
Hannah Elwyn Associated Member Refugee Support Network (RSN) Other
Lars Feldvoss Associated Member Danish Refugee Council Youth (DFUNK) Other
Constantin Hruschka Associated Member Protection Swiss Refugee Council
Liza Schuster Associated Member Department of Sociology University of London
Nicholas Van Hear Associated Member Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) University of Oxford
Sabir Zazai Associated Member Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre (CRMC) Other