Long-Distance Journeys

These publications probe how migrants and refugees finance their extra-continental journeys and amass funds along their routes. Publications include a mix of papers, reports and essays, each with a different view on the challenges that shape people’s journey strategies.

The Other Migration: The Financial Journeys of Asians and Africans Traveling through South and Central America Bound for the United States and Canada

The Financial Journeys of Asians and Africans Traveling through South and Central America Bound for the United States and Canada. By Kim Wilson, with major contributions from Maria Teresa Nagel and Conor Sanchez. In 2018 and 2019, a team from Tufts University and the University for Peace interviewed 87 migrants in Costa Rica and Colombia whose home countries were in South Asia, West Africa, the Horn of Africa, and the Middle East. This report summarizes these interviews.

Financial Inclusion in Refugee Economies

An essay by Kim Wilson and Roxanne Krystalli. Financial inclusion as a term and topic has become popular in humanitarian settings. A mounting global refugee crisis has brought financial access into the focus of donors and practitioners. In this paper, we ask questions that concern both donors and practitioners: Is digital, formal finance – at the heart of most financial inclusion strategies – suited to the needs of refugees, migrants, and displaced populations? Must financial inclusion approaches be tailored for maximum relevance in contexts of protracted displacement or resettlement?

The Financial Journey of Refugees: Evidence from Greece, Jordan, and Turkey

A full report, executive summary, and a compendium of field notes, by Kim Wilson and Roxanne Krystalli. The Financial Journeys of Refugees investigates what money and financial transactions can reveal about the journeys and experiences of forced migration. We examine money as a key node of the displacement experience: fueling transactions among formal and informal actors along the way; determining livelihood options; shaping or restructuring kinship networks; and coloring risks, vulnerabilities, or protective forces available to refugees. Our inquiry highlights these transactions and the power dynamics that unfold among refugees as well as between refugees and formal or informal authorities.

‘I followed the flood’: A Gender Analysis of the Moral and Financial Economies of Forced Migration

An article by Roxanne Krystalli, Allyson Hawkins, and Kim Wilson, published in "Disasters." What would a gender analysis of refugee crises reveal if one expanded the focus beyond female refugees, and acts of physical violence? This paper draws on qualitative research conducted in Denmark, Greece, Jordan, and Turkey in July and August 2016 to spotlight the gendered kinship, hierarchies, networks, and transactions that affect refugees. The coping strategies of groups often overlooked in the gender conversation are examined throughout this study, including those of male refugees and those making crossings outside of the context of a family unit. The analysis is theoretically situated at the intersection of critical humanitarianism and the politics of vulnerability, and rooted in debates about the feminisation of refugees and corresponding protection agendas. A key contribution of this work is the ethnographic tracing of how refugees embody these politics along their journeys.

Financial Biographies

By Kim Wilson. This collection of financial biographies traces the ways in which extra-continental refugees and migrants finance their journeys and manage money along the way. It also highlights the importance of friendships, both old and new, in making a journey possible. Additionally, communication tools like mobile phones, WhatsApp, or Google Translate leverage friendships and kinships to help piece together successful long-distance travel.

Retaining, Changing, and Surrendering Hegemonic Masculinities

By Subin Mulmi, under the supervision of Kim Wilson

No Sweat – If You Are a Woman

By Madison Chapman, under the supervision of Kim Wilson

Tracing the Financial Journeys of Nepali Migrants

By Subin Mulmi, under the supervision of Kim Wilson

What Can Hotels Teach Us about Smuggling?

By Maria Teresa Nagel, under the supervision of Kim Wilson

Language Isolation on the Migrant Trail

By Charlie Bentley, under the supervision of Kim Wilson

Origins Breed Commonalities, Camaraderie, and Conflict

By Aastha Dua and Subin Mulmi, under the supervision of Kim Wilson

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