This Keynote Conversation was hosted by the Refugee Hosts International Conference on the 25th October 2019, from 10.10 – 11.45

Chair:  Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (Refugee Hosts – UCL)

Prof. Sari Hanafi (American University of Beirut)

Prof. Patricia Daley (University of Oxford)

In this Keynote Conversation, Prof. Sari Hanafi and Prof. Patricia Daley discussed and debated the politics and ethics of knowledge production in refugee situations.


You can watch the live stream video of Sari Hanafi’s presentation below and access his presentations slides, here.


You can watch the live stream video of  Prof. Patricia Daley’s presentation below.


You can watch the live stream of the keynote conversation with Prof. Patricia Daley, Prof. Sari Hanafi and Prof. Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh below.


Together, our Keynote Speakers explored questions including:

  • the role of different types of politics in knowledge production in the refugee-related research;
  • the diverse biases and hierarchies that characterise refugee research in different ‘areas’ or ‘regions’ of the world;
  • the power imbalances that exist and persist in claims to ‘expertise’ in relation to contemporary refugee research;
  • how/if refugee research can be ‘more ethical’; and
  • what role, if any, decolonial and Southern approaches to knowledge production can, could and should play in this field.


Biographies of chair and discussants can be found below, in addition to a recommended reading list.

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh is the Principal Investigator leading the Refugee Hosts project; she is Professor of Migration and Refugee Studies and Co-Director of the Migration Research Unit at University College London (UCL), where she is also the Coordinator of the UCL-wide Refuge in a Moving World interdisciplinary research network (@RefugeMvingWrld).

Elena’s research focuses on the intersections between gender, generation and religion in experiences of and responses to conflict-induced displacement, with a particular regional focus on the Middle East. She has conducted extensive research in refugee camps and urban areas including in Algeria, Cuba, Egypt, France, Lebanon, South Africa, Syria, Sweden, and the UK. Drawing on a critical theoretical perspective, her work contributes to key debates surrounding refugees’ and local host community members’ experiences of conflict-induced displacement, the nature of refugee-host-donor relations, and both North-South and South-South humanitarian responses to forced migration. Her recent publications include The Ideal Refugees: Gender, Islam and the Sahrawi Politics of Survival (Syracuse University Press, 2014),  South-South Educational Migration, Humanitarianism and Development: Views from the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East(Routledge, 2015), The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies (co-editor, Oxford University Press, 2014, 2016), Intersections of Religion and Migration: Issues at the Global Crossroads (co-editor, Palgrave, 2016), and The Handbook of South-South Relations (co-editor, Routledge, 2018).

Patricia Daley (Keynote Speaker) is Professor of the Human Geography of Africa and Vice-Principal and The Helen Morag Fellow in Geography at Jesus College, Oxford. Prof. Daley’s main research interests are the political economy of population migration and settlement (forced migration, identity politics and citizenship);  the intersection of space, gender, militarism, sexual violence and peace (feminist geo-politics); racial hierarchies and violence (geographies of racialization and coloniality using Critical Race Theory and decolonizing methodologies); the relationship between conservation, resource extraction, and rural livelihoods (political ecology). She has authored, edited and contributed to numerous publications, including her 2018 co-edited book, The Routledge Handbook of South-South Relations.

Sari Hanafi (Keynote Speaker) is Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut and editor of Idafat: the Arab Journal of Sociology (Arabic). He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Poitiers and Migrintern (France), University of Bologna and Ravenna (Italy) and visiting fellow in CMI (Bergen, Norway). The former Director of the Palestinian Refugee and Diaspora Centre (Shaml) from 2000-2004, Prof. Hanafi has authored a number of publications including Knowledge Production in the Arab World (Routledge). He is the co-editor of Palestinian Refugees: Identity, Space and Place in the Levant (Routledge).


Carpi, E. (2019) Thinking Power Relations across Humanitarian Geographies: Southism as a Mode of Analysis

Carpi, E. (2018) Empires of Inclusion

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2019) Thinking through ‘the global South’ and ‘Southern-responses to displacement’: An introduction

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2019)  Exploring refugees’ conceptualisations of Southern-led humanitarianism

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2018) Shadows and Echoes in/of displacement

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2018) Disrupting Humanitarian Narratives?

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. (2018) Histories and spaces of Southern-led responses to displacement

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E. and Daley, P. (2018) Conceptualising the South and South-South Encounters

Harsch, L. (2018) Giving Refugees a Voice? Looking Beyond ‘Refugee Stories’

Nimer, M. (2019) Reflections on the Political Economy in Forced Migration Research from a ‘Global South’ Perspective

El-Sheikh, S. (2017) Dehumanizing Refugees: Between Demonization and Idealization