13-14/10/2022: CfP – The Values of Remittances in Times of Upheaval: Methods, Theories, and Approaches

What are the values of remittances in times of global upheaval? For remitters and receivers, the answer to this question may seem self-evident and visceral. Upheaval in one’s family, community, or region of origin often drive remittances, shaping the volume of remittance and urgency with which remittances are sent. For many political scientists, policy makers, and politicians, however, this question may seem peripheral, if not irrelevant. Invisible to their tools of analysis, remittances often appear valueless. The geopolitics of remittances is defined by this stark discrepancy in valuation. That could be beneficial: the less those in power know about remittances, the less remittances are subject to taxes, graft, and exploitation. However, that ignorance can be catastrophic. Take for example the recent sanctioning of Afghanistan. There, ignorant both of the value of remittances for putting food on the table and the fact that sanctions
stopped the flow of remittances, the West—in the name of human rights— pushed millions of Afghans to the brink of famine. Between these extremes, Just Remit now see a drastic increase in the politicisation of remittances both domestically and as a foreign policy tool. In this conference there is an aim to consider the politics of remittances, questioning how the values associated with the money, gifts, and non-material forms of support sent between migrants and their relatives are at once transformed and transformative in times of social, political, and economic upheaval. How have moments of crisis shaped approaches to governing and directing remittances by states, banks, and other institutions? When crises are global in scale, how does this shape the volume and direction of remittances? How might turmoil in migrants’ host countries reconfigure moral expectations that they send aid? How do diasporas drive politics back home with remittances? How do states influence their diaspora to drive remittances? How are remittances being politicised in sending and receiving states? How can we theorise and conceptualise the values of remittances? These are the kinds of questions the conference hopes to address, and Just Remit invite presenters to raise their own. We aim to extend ongoing debates and open new lines of inquiry. The conference will include panels on methods and theories in remittance studies, as well as thematic panels focusing on families, diaspora communities, and states. Applications are invited from all disciplines to join us.

Proposal Submission
Please submit a short proposal (250 words) to justremit@fgga.leidenuniv.nl by
June 15th, 2022. Notification regarding acceptance will follow soon thereafter.
The organisers are considering putting together an edited volume based on
the conference and so we ask presenters to consider submitting proposals in
that spirit.

Where and When:
The conference will be held on Oct 13th and 14th, 2022. The conference will
be split between the African Studies Centre Leiden (in Leiden on the 13th)
and at Institute of Security and Global Affairs (in The Hague on the 14th). The
conference will be a hybrid online/offline event.

For more information click here.