Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration


July 05, 2017

Moving Targets: An Analysis of Global Forced Migration investigates the historic and contemporary causes of forced migration as well as both the challenges and capacities of national and international refugee protections and resettlement efforts. 

Written by Haas Institute researchers Elsadig Elsheikh and Hossein Ayazi, this report provides an in-depth analysis of the historical and contemporary dynamics of forced migration worldwide, namely neoliberalization, securitization, and the climate crisis.

The report also offers a critique of the causes and consequences of inequity in refugee resettlement, using as a starting point what is today more commonly referred to as the “European refugee crisis." Despite popular notions that frame the US and Europe as the primary regions impacted by the refugee crisis, the authors illustrate how these areas, with the exception of Sweden and Germany, actually host the fewest refugees relative to their population and wealth—yet have the potential to provide greater support to vulnerable displaced persons and refugees from around the world.

Aimed at advocates, practitioners, policymakers, and researchers, Moving Targets was written to provide a conceptual framework for understanding forced migration, support improvements in local, national, and international refugee policy, and identify research-based interventions to facilitate fairer refugee support mechanisms.

With ten case studies in four “mega-regions” of the world, Moving Targets not only identifies the major dynamics causing massive waves of migration today but also traces the colonial histories of these dynamics and why nations that may seem far removed from the current crises may still have a hand in their creation and exacerbation. 

With this analysis for comprehending the dynamics of forced migration—where displaced persons and refugees come from, where they go, and why they are turned away—the report advocates for a series of policy interventions that would move the world closer to a more comprehensive and equitable refugee support regime. Seeking not to end the production of refugees but to offer recommendations that humanize them, Moving Targets serves as an all-encompassing guide to understanding why the number of displaced persons and refugees is increasing and what actors at various levels can do to ease the crisis.

Click here to read the full report.