Refugeehood and the Postconflict Subject

Reconsidering Minor Losses

By Olga Maya Demetriou

Subjects: Anthropology, Politics, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies
Series: SUNY series in National Identities
Hardcover : 9781438471174, 278 pages, October 2018
Paperback : 9781438471181, 278 pages, July 2019

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Table of contents


1. The Imbricated Structures of Refugeehood

2. Framing: The Governmentality of Major Losses

Part I. Layers: Notes Toward A Global Everyday

3. Dissenting Losses: The Affective Register

4. Governing Loss: The Legal Register

5. Rooting Loss: The Topological Register

Part II. Crevices: From the Refugee- Citizen to the Abject Refugee
6. Minor Others

7. Unhomely Subjects

8. Enemy Refugees


Examines the effects of culturally specific interpretations of refugeehood with an ethnographic focus on Cyprus


Being a "refugee" is not simply a matter of law, determination procedures, or the act of flight. It is an ontological condition, structured by the politics of law, affect, and territory. Refugeehood and the Postconflict Subject explores the variable facets of refugeehood, their interconnections, and their intended and unintended consequences. Grounded on more than a decade of research on the island of Cyprus, Olga Maya Demetriou considers how different groups of "refugees" coexist and how this coexistence invites reinterpretations of the law and its politics. The long-standing political conflict in Cyprus produced not only the paradigmatic, formally recognized "refugee" but also other groups of displaced persons not so categorized. By examining the people and circumstances, Demetriou reveals the tensions and contestations within the international refugee regimes and argues that any reinterpretation that accounts for these tensions also needs to recognize that these "minor" losses are not incidental to refugeehood but an intrinsic part of the wider issues.

Olga Maya Demetriou is Associate Professor in Post Conflict Reconstruction and State-Building, at the Durham Global Security Institute, School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University. She is the author of Capricious Borders: Minority, Population, and Counter-Conduct Between Greece and Turkey.


"This book offers a number of important insights with respect to refugees and refugeehood. Through the notion of 'minor' losses, rather than the conventional focus on 'big' losses, the author argues that refugees do not move from conflict to safety but from one conflict into another, or rather into a complexity of conflicting and conflictual situations and circumstances. The idea that 'minor' losses are not incidental to refugeehood but an intrinsic part of the wider issues at play is an important insight." — Leonie Ansems de Vries, author of Re-Imagining a Politics of Life: From Governance of Order to Politics of Movement