Lecture Series LV—Nathalie E. Williams: ‘Migration during Armed Conflict: A New Look at Variability in Migration Decisions’

 19 April, 2012

Nathalie E. Williams
on
Migration during Armed Conflict: A New Look at Variability in Migration Decisions 

Although there is an extensive body of literature on migration during armed conflict, research on this topic is relatively undeveloped in the study of individual migration and the causal mechanisms that lead to migration or non-migration choices in the context of violence. Further, academic literature and lay perceptions of migration during armed conflict are subject to a series of simplifying assumptions that limit theory development and empirical research on the phenomenon. This presentation describes a series of analytical studies of individual-level systematic variability in migration during armed conflict. Calling into question some of the underlying assumptions in this field of study, this lecture will discuss new theoretical frameworks that take into account the economic, social, and political context within which families and individuals live, the broad consequences of armed conflict on this context, and how this might subsequently affect migration decisions. It will present results from empirical testing of these frameworks based on detailed data from the Chitwan Valley Family Study during the recent armed conflict in Nepal.

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Nathalie E. Williams, a social demographer, received her PhD in Sociology in 2009 from the University of Michigan. She is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Carolina Population Center of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and, in September 2012, will begin as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on studies of migration and the demographic and health consequences of armed conflict and disasters, with a particular emphasis on South and South East Asia and the Persian Gulf. Her dissertation was ranked as one of the top five social science dissertations in the US in 2009. She has published articles in a variety of journals, including Population Studies, Demography, Social Science Research, and International Migration.