The Cautious Politics of “Humanizing” Refugee Research


  • Jonathan Darling Department of Geography, Durham University, UK



humanization, refugee studies, refugee mobility, race


In this intervention, I reflect on what it may mean to ‘humanize’ refugee research. The assumption often made is that ‘humanizing’ can arise through a concern with the particularity of the individual, through drawing from ‘the mass’ the narrative of the singular and employing this as a means to identify, , and potentially understand others. Yet such a move risks a reliance on creating relations of empathy and compassion that elide political responses to dehumanization and often relies on a assumption of what constitutes the category of “the human,” an assumption that has been critically challenged by post-colonial writing.


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How to Cite

Darling, J. (2021). The Cautious Politics of “Humanizing” Refugee Research. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 37(2), 56–62.