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Conceptions of ‘home’ and the political geography of refugee repatriation: between assumption and contested reality in Bosnia-Herzegovina
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:23 authored by Richard Black
Recent years have seen growing recognition of the dynamic and negotiated nature of cultural identity, and the globalization of political and economic processes. However, assumptions about the rootedness of people in particular places retain a powerful hold over public policy. This paper considers some of the consequences of this paradox by examining policies to promote the repatriation of refugees from European Union states to their ‘homes’ in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1995. The question of when, and on what basis, different actors consider it safe or appropriate for refugees’ exile to end is rooted both in different conceptions of ‘home’, and in varying assessments of individual, national and state interests. These lead in turn to different evaluations of ‘success’ of refugee return, and of policies to promote it.
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