Multiple Stakes in a Successful Refugee Response: Lessons from Uganda

Guest Lecture Series

29 settembre 2020
Versione stampabile

dalle 14:15 alle 16:00

Guest Speaker:

  • Sara de Simone - a post-doctoral researcher at the School of International Studies of the University of Trento.

In recent years, Uganda has received massive international support for its refugee response, becoming the third country in the world for absolute numbers of refugees hosted. Why is this the case? To what extent Uganda’s attractiveness is determined by a deliberate strategy of its government rather than simply by its geographical position and humanitarianism? What are the stakes in a successful refugee response? This presentation tries to answer these questions drawing on literature on African states’ agency and showing that states are capable of crafting strategies of extraversion even in situations of vulnerability and dependency such as that of a refugee emergency in a developing country. Uganda has built upon its history of being a “donor darling” to position itself as a model for refugee-hosting, feeding the co-dependent relationship between the country and its donors: if the former capitalizes on refugee-related external assistance to strengthen the presence of the central state in peripheral areas and the regime’s grip on power, the latter’s need of success stories about refugees being successfully hosted away from European (and North American) borders makes the international community turn a blind eye to Uganda’s many governance shortcomings.

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