New article by Evan Easton-Calabria and Naohiko Omata critiques refugee 'self-reliance'

11 May, 2018

A new article by Evan Easton-Calabria and Naohiko Omata provides a critical examination of the current extensive promotion of ‘self-reliance’ for refugees.

The article argues that existing scholarship largely ignores the unsuccessful historical record of international assistance to foster refugees’ self-reliance and fails to discuss its problematic linkages to neoliberalism and the notion of ‘dependency’.

It reveals that the current conceptualisation and practice of self-reliance are largely shaped by the priorities of international donors that aim to create cost-effective exit strategies from long-term refugee populations.

The authors argue that where uncritically interpreted and applied, the promotion of self-reliance can result in unintended and undesirable consequences for refugees’ well-being and protection.

Evan Easton-Calabria and Naohiko Omata (2018) 'Panacea for the refugee crisis? Rethinking the promotion of ‘self-reliance’ for refugees' in Third World Quarterly, DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2018.1458301