Photo: Alun McDonald for Oxfam (CC-BY-NC-ND, via flickr)

What about conflict drives some people to move, while others stay behind? Proposed session for the Annual Meeting of American Geographers 2022, on the geographies of migration during conflict and the dynamics of migration-decision making in conflict settings. 


Recent years have seen a rise in the numbers of both internally displaced people and of internationally recognized refugees. Many people across conflict settings do not migrate, and those who do, mainly remain close to the places they left, either within their country of origin or in neighouring countries. 

Despite significant humanitarian concerns and attention to displacement, knowledge about the geographies of migration during conflict – and more specifically about the dynamics of migration-decision making in conflict settings remains rather weak. Therefore, this session seeks to offer insights from across empirical contexts, past or present, drawing on qualitative or quantitative data. To this end, with this call for papers, we inveite contributions that address one or more of the following questions:

  • What about conflict (forms, intensity, proximity) drives some people to move, while others stay behind?
  • When in a cycle of conflict does migration occur (timing), and to what extent and how are these cumulative processes, where ‘tipping points’ may be identified?
  • How can experiences of violence be disaggregated in order to shed light on migration-decision dynamics in conflict settings?
  • Where do people go, and why there, when they do decide to leave a conflict-affected area? And how do networks and resources matter differently or similarly to in non-conflict-affected areas?
  • Which migration journeys are undertaken out of (and back into) conflict-affected areas, and how do these relate to the cycle of conflict and levels of violence there?
  • How can subjectively experienced fear and insecurity be meaningfully linked with objective measures of violence in conflict settings, to better understand mobility/immobility dynamics?
  • How can temporal dimensions of migration during conflict, such as protracted displacement with multiple mobility instances, be better integrated into knowledge production?

Please send your abstract by 10 October 2021 to to Maisie Fitzmaurice (maifit@prio.org).

Abstracts should be 150-200 words long. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and a brief bio of max 100 words. 

We will notify you of whether your abstract has been selected or not within a couple of days. The selection will be based on fit to the session topic. 

We are considering whether a Special Issue of a journal might be an outcome of this session, please let us know whether or not you might be interested, in the event this were to become reality.

We would like to encourage post-graduate students and Doctoral Researchers to consider submitting an abstract.

Session organisers: Marta Bivand Erdal and Andreas Forø Tollefsen (both Peace Research Institute Oslo), as part of the Research Council of Norway funded Geographies of Conflict-Induced Migration (CONMIG) research project. The proposed paper session will be submitted for the Annual Meeting of American Geographers 2022 - AAG - to be held in New York, 25 Feb - 1 March.