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The Myth of Self-Reliance

Economic Lives Inside a Liberian Refugee Camp

Naohiko Omata

194 pages, 3 figures, 3 illus., 6 tables, 2 maps, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-564-8 $110.00/£78.00 Hb Not Yet Published (June 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-565-5 eBook Not Yet Published

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For many refugees, economic survival in refugee camps is extraordinarily difficult. Drawing on both qualitative and quantitative research conducted over several years, this volume challenges the reputation of a ‘self-reliant’ model given to Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana and sheds light on considerable economic inequality between refugee households. The Myth of Self-Reliance provides valuable insights into refugees’ experiences of repatriation to Liberia after protracted exile and their responses to the ending of refugee status for remaining refugees in Ghana.

Naohiko Omata is Senior Research Officer at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford.  Based on extensive research in West Africa, Naohiko has published widely on refugee livelihoods, rights and repatriation including articles in the Journal of Refugee Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies and Community Development Journal. Previously, he worked as a practitioner and consultant for UNDP, UNHCR and international and local NGOs in various Sub-Saharan African countries.

Series: Volume 36, Forced Migration
Subject: Refugee & Migration Studies
Area: Africa

LC: HV640.4.G45 O43 2017

BISAC: SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General; SOC007000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Emigration & Immigration

BIC: JFFN Migration, immigration & emigration


List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Buduburam: An Exemplary Refugee Camp?

Chapter 1. ‘Guests Who Stayed Too Long’: Refugee Lives in a Protracted Exile
Chapter 2. Economic Lives in Buduburam
Chapter 3. The Household Economy in the Camp
Chapter 4. Roots of Economic Stratification: A Historical Perspective
Chapter 5. Repatriation to Liberia: The ‘Best’ Solution for Refugees?
Chapter 6. The ‘End’ of Refugee Life? When Refugee Status Ceases
Chapter 7. Developing a Better Understanding of Livelihoods, Self-Reliance and Social Networks in Forced Migration Studies

Epilogue: Buduburam in 2015


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