Call for Papers: The Forced Migration Review on “Thinking Ahead: Displacement, Transition and Solutions,”



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The Forced Migration Review


The Forced Migration Review

The Forced Migration Review (FMR 51) will include a major feature on “Thinking Ahead: Displacement, Transition and Solutions,” focusing on the potential links between humanitarian and development programmes in finding solutions to displacement.

If you are interested in submitting an article, please email the Editors ( with a proposed outline.The submission deadline is Sept. 7, 2015. For more information, please see the complete call for articles.


From the Legal Scholarship Blog


Thinking ahead: displacement, transition and solutions

Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 7th September 2015

The average number of years in which people are living in displacement has increased to nearly 20 years. The challenges that arise when people are forced to flee their homes for any length of time, but particularly when their displacement becomes protracted, are neither exclusively humanitarian nor exclusively developmental. These challenges are faced not only by the refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons themselves but also by the broader displacement-affected communities, including host societies and host countries, communities of origin and potential areas of return, and by those working with them. In addition the need has long been recognised to link humanitarian and development work in the early stages of an emergency in order to influence and implement both immediate and longer-term outcomes.

Addressing this combination of challenges has underpinned many initiatives within the humanitarian community over recent decades. Some of the longest-standing debates within the humanitarian community have important relevance for situations of displacement: the relief-development ‘continuum’ and ‘minding the gap’ from relief to development work; single- or multi-mandate organisations; separate emergency/humanitarian and development funding streams; displacement not yet finding a prominent place on the development agenda or in national development plans and programmes; the search for long-term solutions for protracted displacements; the limits of the three recognised durable solutions; the exploration of concepts such as vulnerability, resilience, self-reliance and dependency; the argument over humanitarian solutions for developmental problems; and the concept of early recovery.

Although over the years we may have found partial solutions, deeper understandings and revised formulations, the issues remain largely intractable. Lately these issues have found a new prominence with the 2015 transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Transitional Solutions Initiative, reframed in 2014 as the Solutions Alliance,[i] for addressing protracted displacement. 

The FMR editors are planning to produce an issue comprising analytical, experiential and policy-oriented articles reflecting a diverse range of opinions and perspectives focusing on situations of forced displacement and addressing questions such as the following:

  • What are the potential links between humanitarian and development programmes in finding solutions to displacement? Are there practical examples where such links have been explored and implemented in protracted displacements?
  • What are the potential development impacts – positive as well as negative – of displacement?
  • Where does displacement fit in the development agenda? What are potential development responses to displacement?
  • Would greater involvement of development actors in seeking solutions to displacement help challenge resistance to hosting displaced people?
  • How best can those most directly affected by displacement (refugees, IDPs, returnees) be active participants in these debates and initiatives?
  • What have we learned from previous initiatives, and how can this inform the latest initiative (the Solutions Alliance)?
  • What would be suitable legal or regulatory arrangements for supporting a transition from humanitarian needs to viable and sustainable solutions for displaced people? And what would be suitable institutional (social, cultural, economic, political, managerial) arrangements?
  • How can we find ways to address the political conditionalities that hinder solutions to displacement in the countries of refuge or the countries of origin?
  • To what extent are displacement issues being addressed effectively through national development plans?  What is the role of national governments?
  • What are the roles of bilateral donors and development banks in supporting or complicating initiatives for humanitarian-development transitions in situations of displacement?
  • Does the private sector have a role to play? Are there additional (less traditional) actors to consider?
  • In this context, how can the needs and rights especially of the most vulnerable be protected?
  • Are there alternatives to, or variations on, the traditional three ‘durable solutions’ that are more conducive to equitable solutions for protracted displacement? What are the risks and advantages of such alternatives?
  • How can displacement solutions best be monitored, measured or analysed? How will we know that a displacement solution has been achieved?
  • Do examples exist of effective transitional and durable solutions from which lessons can be drawn? What are the key conditions and drivers for successful solutions for displacement?
  • In seeking new modalities are there risks to current, albeit unsatisfactory, arrangements?


While we are looking for examples of good, replicable practice and experience as well as sound analysis of the issues at stake, we also urge writers to discuss failures and difficulties: what does/did not work so well, and why.

We are particularly keen to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by these questions.

Maximum length: 2,500 words.

Please note that space is always at a premium in FMR and that published articles are usually shorter than this maximum length.  Your article, if accepted for publication, may well be shortened but you will of course be consulted about any editing changes.

Deadline for submission of articles:  7th September 2015

Please email the Editors at if you are interested in contributing or have suggestions of colleagues or community representatives who may wish to contribute. If you can put us in touch with displaced people who might be interested in writing, please do email us; we are happy to work with individuals to help them develop an article and very keen to have their perspectives reflected in the magazine.

If you are planning to write, we would be grateful if you would take note of our guidelines for authors at: Authors are reminded that FMR seeks to include articles with a gendered approach or a gender analysis as part of them.

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