Journal Article

Community Work and Exile Politics: Kurdish Refugee Associations in London

OSTEN WAHLBECK

in Journal of Refugee Studies

Volume 11, issue 3, pages 215-230
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0951-6328
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1471-6925 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jrs/11.3.215
Community Work and Exile Politics: Kurdish Refugee Associations in London

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  • Human Rights and Immigration
  • Human Geography
  • International Relations
  • Aid and Relief Programmes
  • Refugee Studies

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Ethnic associations play an important role for refugees in their new country of settlement. However, refugee communities are often politically divided and find it hard to create viable ethnic organizations. This dilemma is highlighted by results obtained from an ethnographic field study of Kurdish refugees in London. The British case is of special interest, since the refugee resettlement policy is characterized by a tendency to emphasize the role of the ‘local community’. The article discusses whether the politicization of the Kurdish associations in London has been a help or a hindrance for the creation of refugee assistance organizations. It is argued that, although there is no cohesive Kurdish community, the refugees have been able to establish well-functioning organizations of a more limited nature. In this process the political activism of the Kurdish refugees has been a resource rather than an obstacle.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration ; Human Geography ; International Relations ; Aid and Relief Programmes ; Refugee Studies

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