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Forced migration and the city : irregularity, informality, and the politics of presence.

Darling, Jonathan (2016) 'Forced migration and the city : irregularity, informality, and the politics of presence.', Progress in human geography., 41 (2). pp. 178-198.


This paper explores the relationship between forced migration and the city. The paper outlines four accounts of the city centred on: displacement and the camp-city, dispersal and refugee resettlement, the ‘re-scaling’ of borders, and the city as a sanctuary. Whilst valuable, these discussions maintain a focus on sovereign authority that tends to prioritize the policing of forced migration over the possibilities for contestation that also emerge through cities. Arguing for a fuller engagement with debates in urban geography, this paper considers how discussions of urban informality and the politics of presence may better unpack the urban character of forced migration.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:29 May 2018
Date of first online publication:10 February 2016
Date first made open access:29 May 2018

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