Cycles of crisis, migration and the formation of new political identities in Western Sahara

Wilson, Alice (2014) Cycles of crisis, migration and the formation of new political identities in Western Sahara. In: Pérouse de Montclos, Marc-Antoine, Petit, Véronique and Robin, Nelly (eds.) Crises et migrations dans les pays du sud. Harmattan, Paris, pp. 79-105. ISBN 9782343011714

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Abstract

This paper considers how conjunctions of crisis and migration are productive in a Foucauldian sense. More specifically, it examines how cycles of crisis and migration are productive of new political identities. This is explored through the case of Sahrawis from the disputed territory of Western Sahara, many of whom live in exile in refugee camps in Algeria. The paper addresses how the conjunction of the crisis (from a Sahrawi nationalist perspective) of Morocco’s partial annexation of Western Sahara with the forced migration to Algeria helped produce the new political identity of Sahrawi citizens of the state-in-exile based in the refugee camps. It further argues that in the Sahrawi case, this is part of a longstanding pattern dating back to pre-colonial times, which sees conjunctions of crisis and migration linked to the formation of new political identities. These cycles continue today: recent developments in the conflict see the opposed parties, Morocco and Western Sahara’s liberation movement, Polisario Front, seek to manipulate the relationship between crisis, migration and new identities, sometimes with surprising results. The research is based on fieldwork in the refugee camps in 2007-2009, 2011 and 2012.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: migration, crisis, identity, refugees, Western Sahara, Polisario Front
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Alice Wilson
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 14:41
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2017 14:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/70262

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