27 Int'l Migration Rev. 4 (1993)

handle is hein.journals/imgratv27 and id is 1 raw text is: 





The Social Implications of

Population Displacement and

Resettlement: An Overview with a

Focus on the Arab Middle East



Seteney Shami
Yarmouk University


     Recent decades have witnessed a global increase in the collective
     displacement of populations as a result of natural disasters, wars and
     development projects. The social implications of displacement, and its
     corollary process of resettlement, are explored in this article, with a
     focus on the Arab world. Most studies of this region tend to describe
     selected cases with little attempt at analytical synthesis or generaliza-
     tion based on comparative data. An approach which emphasizes the
     relation between the causes and consequences of displacement, exam-
     ines cases in their historical contexts, and selects the appropriate unit
     of analysis is essential in developing an adequate framework of anal-
     ysis.


A growing body of literature has emerged over the past two decades dealing
with various types of population displacement under the rubric of invol-
untary migration. This literature does not represent a totally new field of
study, for many of the topics that it encompasses were broached earlier in
migration studies, population studies and cultural geography, as well as
under the terms population redistribution, relocation and resettlement
and refugee movements. More  generally, studies of such phenomena
could be found in works on development, industrialization and urbaniza-
tion, especially in the Third World. The significance of the new literature,
however, goes beyond a simple adjustment of terms and, while not a shift in
subject matter, indicates an important shift in focus and emphasis. This
highlights both a burgeoning empirical phenomenon and a theoretical
trend of some importance in the study of population and development.
Population displacement may be defined as the process of collective dislo-
cation and/or settlement of people away from their normal habitat by a


4   IMR Volume xxvii, No. 1

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