CMRS Seminar: "Stuck in Vulnerability"

Monday, December 11, 2017
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Hill House, Room 602, AUC Tahrir Square
Event Type
Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

Being stuck in vulnerability. The situation of young male refugees in Turkey.

In the past decades there has been growing attention on the concept of vulnerability in migration and border studies. For many years, scholars and especially feminist activists have demanded that international humanitarian agencies and nation states particularly ensure the protection of women, children and other vulnerable migrant groups. Recently, a critical debate on the dangers of the discursive logic of vulnerability in the field of migration politics has emerged. Authors like Didier Fassin (2007, 2016) and Miriam Ticktin (2011) show that migration and refugee policies prioritize biological or health differences to delineate the deserving from the undeserving migrant.

In my presentation, I will discuss vulnerability in the context of the current international refugee regime in Turkey. Based on ethnographic research we conducted in spring and summer of 2016 within the scope of the research project “De-and Re-stabilizations of the European Border Regime” (, I will elaborate how the introduction of the category of “vulnerability” in the international humanitarian migration context, and particular in UNHCR politics in Turkey has restricted access to asylum and resettlement only to vulnerable cases, that by definition exclude certain profiles, like young male refugees.

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