Local Communities, Emotions, and the Everyday Construction of Protection Space for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Indonesia

Atin Prabandari

5University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

This study is an inquiry to comprehend how protection space for refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia is constructed through practices. While most scholars and practitioners emphasise statist, legal, macro and institutionalist approach in conceptualising protection space, this view might not able to capture complex reality on the ground. This study intends to take different route in understanding the concept and practice of protection and protection space through the lens of the micro and the everyday. It does so by examining (1) the role of non-state, non-traditional and ‘non-system’ actors in the construction of protection space and (2) the role of emotions in shaping their motivation and sense of moral obligation to assist refugees. Studying practices and emotions is a complex endeavor that it requires assemble of tools. As such, this study will utilise a combination of case studies, multi-sited fieldwork techniques, narrative and discourse analysis. By doing so, this study contributes to the alternative understanding of protection space are constructed and function in non-Western context and non-signatory state of 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocol. It opens new moral and political possibilities for humanitarian actions by making visible ‘non-system’ actors’ agency and the role of emotion in the construction of protection space.


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