Central European University A Program for University Teachers, Advanced Ph.D. Students, Researchers and Professionals in the Social Sciences and Humanities Summer University
July 5 - July 16, 1999
Arthur C. Helton (Director, Forced Migration Projects, Open Society Institute, Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University)
Ager (Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh)
The course is designed for an audience with varied backgrounds. Scholars who are used to broad statements about "refugees" will investigate the law and associated values at the universal level, with significant regional dimensions. Practitioners will become acquainted with the sociological problems of integration, and the psychological complexities of traumatized, isolated persons. After the course, each participant should have a deeper knowledge of forced displacement in his/her own field and a clear understanding of the interrelationships between the fields. They should have the resources to develop a curriculum, conduct research and analyze issues of forced migration.
Course level and target audience
The core content of the course is organized
along an imagined sojourn
Part I puts forced displacement into context, reviewing theories explaining migration, the contemporary use of the terms, and trends. The "factual" context is then enlarged to provide insight into deeper causes of frictions within societies leading to displacement, concentrating on nationalism, ethnic tensions, and cultural clashes, including language and citizenship policies.
Part II presents responses and remedies within refugee law and institutions, reviews the League of Nations and UN refugee regime and explores the interplay between international politics and action by UN agencies and regional organizations, with an emphasis on the law of international human rights.
Part III turns to the analytical context in which forced displacement has to be interpreted. The interrelationship of forced displacement and international security, the role of the European human rights enforcement system as well as the potential of NGOs in transitional societies to protect and assist the displaced will be explored with reference to lessons learnt from past conflicts both inside and outside of Europe.
Part IV looks at the forced migrant as an individual confronting the receiving society. Myths about threats posed by the displaced will be explored with sociological investigations of the actual benefits and burdens for the individual and receiving society. This includes psychosocial perspectives of the refugee experience.
The last day of the course summarizes the lessons of the previous two weeks in the form of a role-playing simulation emulating concrete conflicts. Students and faculty will draw upon the course to better understand (and search for alternatives concerning) problems leading to forced displacement.
In order to enhance the policy relevance
and practical application of the course, afternoon sessions will include
presentations by expert commentators from the region, as well as meetings
with senior officials and other important actors in the Hungarian refugee
field. Consultations on curriculum development will be available to participants.