Ethnographic fieldwork requires not only long-term immersion, but also perceptiveness to the minutiae of the mundane. Walking, running, and driving along the roads of a Ghanaian city inspired me to rethink the meaning of migration. Jørgen Carling reflects on his recent fieldwork in Ghana.
It is well established that young people constitute the majority of those who risk their lives on migratory routes from Sub-Saharan Africa towards Europe. But there are important differences by country that may inform more targeted policy responses. Afrobarometer's Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye and Edem Selormey present the preliminary findings of the current round of nationality representative surveys relating to migration aspirations.
Conducting research with informants who have experienced the trials of forced displacement may leave the researcher crippled by the apparent hopelessness of her interlocutors, combined with the sense of helplessness in not being able to contribute to their plight in a meaningful and ethical way. Rose Jaji looks back on her experiences, conducting research with refugees in Kenya and Zimbabwe, and argues that her informants’ capacity for action and critical assessment left her as much in awe as in a state of dejection.
As a professor of African History, and expert witness in US federal immigration court, Benjamin Lawrance reflects upon witchcraft accusations in asylum claims; how they are adjudicated; and why they tend to be rejected in court.