IMER Bergen
Call for Panel Contributors

Re-thinking Temporary Protection in the Context of the Return Turn in Asylum in Europe: ‘Concept, practice, principle'. 4th April, 2022 deadline

The TemPro project team is looking for panel contributions for the Nordic Migration Research Conference in August in Copenhagen. The panel’s theme is “Re-thinking Temporary Protection in the Context of the Return Turn in Asylum in Europe: ‘Concept, practice, principle”. The panel conveners on behalf of TemPro are Dr Esra Kaytaz, Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations, Coventry University and Dr Jessica Schultz, University of Bergen.


Main content

Temporary protection is typically associated with situations of generalized violence or mass human rights violations, which result in large-scale displacement. In Europe, a temporary protection status was extended by states in the 1990s to people escaping civil war in the Balkans, on the assumption that return within a short period of time would be viable.  By contrast, today many of these states have adopted asylum policies and practices that place time limits on protection for refugees even in the absence of sustainable return prospects. Refugees with temporary residence need to justify their continued need for protection without the guarantee of securing permanent residence. These policies and practices are embedded in broader policies of deterrence which also include strengthened measures for deportation, safe third country practices and extraterritorial processing (the ‘return turn’). Furthermore, temporary protection policies are often implemented using controversial interpretations of international refugee law.

Contributions to this panel will examine ‘temporary protection’ in the context of the return turn in asylum in Europe. Given the plethora of measures that introduce precarity to refugees’ residence and the political agenda dominated by return, the panel asks what constitutes ‘temporary protection’, how do they differ in their application across states and refugee groups, and how do refugees experience these measures.  To this end, inspired by legal scholar Jean-Francois Durieux’s characterisation of temporary protection as ‘concept, practice, principle’, this panel will bring together multi-disciplinary analyses on temporary protection as a legal principle, a tool of migration governance, practices that destabilise residence, and refugee experiences of insecurity of residence. The topics the panel will address include: conceptualising temporal dimensions of protection as well as protection itself; comparative and historical research on the return turn and temporary protection; methodologies and ethics of researching temporary protection; and the legal consciousness of service providers and refugees.

The deadline for abstracts is April 4.  information on how to submit an abstract can be found here.