Skip to main content


Stay, move-on, return: dynamics of mobility aspirations in contexts of forced displacement


6 - 7 November 2019, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

IDMC's Chloe Sydney will join this two-day workshop that will focus on dynamics of refugees’ mobility aspirations and on how refugees experience mobility and immobility. She will discuss premature returns in South Sudan and present the initial findings of our upcoming South Sudan report, that is part of our 'The invisible majority: internal to cross-border displacement' research.

In five panels, the workshop engages with, but is not limited to, the following questions:

  • How do conflicts and displacement interrupt previous life aspirations? How do forced migrants’ unfulfilled life aspirations influence mobility aspirations?
  • How are refugees’ mobility aspirations constrained by policies and geopolitical constellations?
  • What are underlying knowledge claims in European policies, discourses and practices?
  • How do refugees’ (presumed) migration and life aspirations shape policy design and practices, for example in Europe?
  • How do refugees cope with the discrepancies between aspirations for their futures and realities they encounter in different countries where they seek refuge?
  • What type of return aspirations exist? Under which conditions is return (not) envisaged?

The workshop seeks to contribute analytically, empirically and conceptually to research and broader societal debates on forced migration. Analytically, it aims at avoiding to “freeze” migration dynamics and develop new concepts to study the interplay of forced migration and aspirations dynamically. Moving beyond a Eurocentric and solely state-centred view on forced displacement, it will challenge methodological nationalism. Empirically, it seeks to examine refugees’ perspectives and aspirations for the future as well as the ways that policies shape and constrain them. Conceptually, it will provide an open and constructive space to share results from original empirical research with civil society actors and discuss conceptual challenges in studying a deeply dynamic and transnational research field.

Find the full agenda here.