Journal Article

Refugees’ Conceptualizations of “Protection Space”: Geographical Scales of Urban Protection and Host–Refugee Relations

Eveliina Lyytinen

in Refugee Survey Quarterly

Published on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Volume 34, issue 2, pages 45-77
Published in print June 2015 | ISSN: 1020-4067
Published online March 2015 | e-ISSN: 1471-695X | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rsq/hdv001
Refugees’ Conceptualizations of “Protection Space”: Geographical Scales of Urban Protection and Host–Refugee Relations

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

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Congolese refugees informing this study interpreted the notion of “protection space” largely through their various everyday encounters and mundane experiences of urban space. This article emphasizes an inherently spatial and scalar reading of refugees’ discourses of their protection and insecurity in their city of exile Kampala, Uganda. Conceptually, my examination focuses on physical, imagined, lived, and relational elements of space. Refugees’ conceptualizations of urban space are, for analytical purposes, discussed at the micro-, meso-, and macro-scales. It is concluded that the commonly held understanding of “protection space” as a largely institutional space between refugees and protection institutions only provides us with a one-sided understanding of the concept. Thus, when “protection space” is interrogated, refugees’ understandings of urban space in its multiple forms and scales have to be incorporated into the analysis.

Keywords: urban; refugees; protection; space

Journal Article.  15238 words.  Illustrated.

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

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