1 Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Københavns Universitet
Confinement, Mobility and the Refugee Public among Karen Refugees in Thailand and Burma
In this paper, I hope to add a complementary perspective to James Scott’s recent work on avoidance strategies of subaltern mountain people by focusing on what I call the refugee public. The educated Karen elite uses the space of exile in the Thai borderland to reconstitute resources and to re-enter Karen state in Eastern Burma as humanitarians, providing medical, educational resources and help to document human rights violations and do advocacy work. In addition, local missionaries and faith-based groups also use the corridor to spread the word of God. I argue that Karen humanitarian community-based organizations succeed to stretch the border by establishing a firm presence that is supported by the international humanitarian economy in the refugee camps in Northwestern Thailand.
Journal of Borderlands Studies, 2014, Vol 29, Issue 1, p. 47-61