Reconciling “Integration” and the Right of Return. Rethinking Palestinian Refugeehood


The research project investigates Palestinian refugees’ imaginaries, practices and attitudes towards the right of return in Lebanon, Jordan and the West Bank. The research departs from classic scholarly approaches to the concept of “return” to show how refugees in their everyday practices and lived experiences strategies reconcile “integration” in the host country with return. 

Dr. Salih said that Palestinian refugees by virtue of their paradoxical positionality as displaced and rooted, insiders and outsiders, expressions of longing and belonging, here and there, are amongst the most interesting actors of new political cultures that offer potentially emancipatory and radically transformative political thought.

Dr. Sophie said that the preliminary results suggest that increasingly refugees see “integration” and “return” as compatible and desirable and they produce political narratives to sustain and legitimize their views and practices. Moreover, while all refugees and non-refugees (irrespective of age, political party affiliation, gender, etc.) agree that the right on return is inalienable, political cultures on how to implement that right differ starkly. Generation, in particular, plays a crucial role in how refugees think about integration, citizenship and return.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 12