Societies have become more mixed, diverse, and complex. 281 million people live in a country other than their country of birth (IOM 2022). Migration itself has become more mixed including "refugees fleeing persecution and conflict [ ... ) and people seeking better lives and opportunities" (MMC 2022). Forced migrant numbers are also unprecedented with over 89 million worldwide (UNHCR 2022). These large and complex migration flows with a range of legal statuses, needs and vulnerabilities (MMC2022) may not only put strain on host-migrant relations, but can as well put pressures on relations between different migrant groups in host countries. For example, in Egypt or Tunisia, different groups of migrants, like Sudanese, Bangladeshis, do not only compete between each other, but as well with Syrian, Ethiopian, Yemeni, and lraqi refugees over resources, such as jobs. But it is not only resources where they might become "rivals" but also over, for example, rights or statuses. For example, Syrians in Morocco have not received refugee status, but "only" obtain residence cards with give them legal status, nevertheless they do not get the same protection level as other refugees. In addition, in Tunisia, rivalry and violence between refugee groups has arisen as Libyans refugees are treated differently by the government than other refugee groups. "Libyans are not considered refugees - but 'brothers' or 'neighbours' - and do not have access to a formal stay permit but they are tolerated and not subject to detention or expulsion practices other miqrants may face" (Natter and Müller Funk, forthcoming). Also considering the differential treatment of Ukrainians and Afghans or between Roma Ukrainians and others, it is not surprising that sentiments of rivalry arise. While there is often solidarity between migrant groups, many migrant groups consider or perceive other migrants as "rivals", whereby rivalry is understood here as competing for the same objective, which can lead to tensions and violence, particularly when different risk factors of violence come together, such as high unemployment, inequality between and among groups like exclusionary migration policies. Although rivalry on its own may not lead to violence, if several rival, as weil as intersectional factors, such as rights, statuses, and ethnicity, come together, it can directly or indirectly heighten the risk of violence between these groups as horizontal or vertical inequalities are present. Although already a large body of literature exists on violence or conflict spread in host countries (e.g. Salehyan and Gleitsch 2006, Zhou and Shaver 2022), the focus so far has been on (forced) migrant-host relations, but not between different migrants' groups, particularly not in a large systematic scale. Moreover, while for inter-migrant groups relations it can be partly drawn also on existing conflict and (forced) migration theories, 1 contend that inter-migrant relations, such as between refugee and migrant, are not necessarily the same as between (forced) migration and hosts. Thus, 1 introduce the concept of "mixed rivalries" to describe the specific, but at the same time very diverse relations between various migrant groups, such as refugees, asylum-seekers, labour and irregular migrants. Mixed because rivalries, 1 argue, can be multi-dimensional, going beyond economic or only political contestation, can be direct or indirect, be real or perceived, change over time and include diverse groups of migrants.


Duration 01/01/2024 - 31/12/2028
Funding EU
Logo - European Union
Principle investigator for the project (University for Continuing Education Krems) Ass.-Prof. Dr. Heidrun Bohnet
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