This project will examine the societal dimensions of war crimes and mass atrocities in the context of crimes against humanity, such as those witnessed by the decade-long Syrian conflict, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar, and other such human-made catastrophes of the post-Cold War era. It will attend to the problematic aspects of “collective responsibility” in legal morality in tandem with a critical reading of the Husserlian notion of the Will, the Arendtian notion of politics and Patočka's contributions to the debate on responsibility and heritage. Overall, the project will urge the public to consider the limitations of seeking societal peace and political transformation mainly through seeking criminal accountability for the “individual perpetrators” of mass atrocities. It thus has a significant component concerned with the debate on Europe’s Futures and self-image, particularly with reference to the most recent waves of mass crime in its southern and northern neighbors.
Since the 1970s, forced migration and refugee studies heavily relied upon case studies and suffered from a lack of robust debates on methodological innovations and interventions (Chimni). This is despite the diversity of designs, contexts and data used. The event-based focus and symptomatic treatment of forced migration continues to complicate and cloud the field’s overall agenda for research. Further to this, these case studies are often either conducted in the Global North or from a Eurocentric perspective at the expense of the Global South where the majority of forced migration movements occur and are absorbed.
Temporally and regionally comprehensive perspectives on the conditions, practices and consequences of forced migration, as well as features such as commonalities and differences in agency, resilience, vulnerability, transnational activism, multi-generational trauma and transitional justice perspectives are essential for recognizing trajectories and patterns as well as interdependencies in forced migration related mobilities. This project will address the notorious blind spots and hegemonic practices of knowledge production in the field concerning the event-based focus on the one hand, and generic global solution formats on the other, with the aim of identification of new research questions and methodologies that emanate from alternative geographies.