Education and Arts

Rethinking Displacement: Asia Pacific Perspectives

Bookcover: Rethinking Displacement: Asia Pacific PerspectivesBook cover

"Displacement is the scandal of the closing decades of the last century and the beginning of the new one. Human rights activists, humanitarian agencies, policy makers, development experts, and government planners are struggling to cope with the problem of displacement. Part of the reason behind the apparent intractability of the issue is a lack of concrete analysis of the various causes and forms of displacement. This collection of essays not only manages to fill the need, by bringing in the perspective of the new global order, it manages to tell us a different story of the Asian Century. The victims of accumulation - the displaced - are put squarely at the centre of the Asian story of economy and progress. Rethinking Displacement: Asia Pacific Perspectives is must read for critical social scientists and developmental specialists of our time."- Ranabir Samaddar, Director, Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, India

'Rethinking Displacement: Asia Pacific Perspectives' is edited by Professor Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase, Professor of International Development Studies, School of Arts and Sciences (Vic), Australian Catholic University and Dr Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Fellow, Resource Management in Asia Pacific program, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University.

Colleagues and friends attended the launch of the book on March 18 at Drake House, ACU Melbourne campus.

The book explores the interconnected factors that compel people to move within their homelands or traverse various borders. It brings together historical and contemporary accounts and critical examinations to illustrate the commonalities in their lived experiences.

The book was officially launched by Professor Frank Brennan SJ AO, who provided the audience with an insight into the nature of the book as a welcoming addition from the Academy for its "scrupulous academic concern in depicting the issues of displacement."

The book's three major themes are Displacement of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Formation of Refugee identities, Human Security, and Undocumented Migration 

"I am hopeful and confident that the wide range of issues addressed in the book will help the reader to come to understand the complexity of factors around refugees and develop more humane policies," said Professor Brennan.

Professor Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase, whose work focuses on the consequences of global neoliberal reforms for various communities and classes, especially in South Asia, said the book "brings to life the idea put forward by the well know sociologist Zigmund Bauman that displacement is the inherent story of modernity. We've tried to tell this story through the experiences of various groups of people in the Asia Pacific region."

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is committed to engaging with communities and restoring hope, as demonstrated through its work on the Thai-Burma border. "The book is very relevant in our Faculty values," said Executive Dean Professor Gail Crossley.