Indiana University Press has just released Hosting States and Unsettled Guests: Eritrean Refugees in a Time of Migration Deterrence, co-written by Amanda Poole, professor of Anthropology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Jennifer Riggan, professor of International Studies at Arcadia University.

Cover of Hosting States and Unsettled GuestsHosting States and Unsettled Guests is based on three years of ethnographic research with Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia when refugee hosting policies were introduced to deter onward migration to Europe and the US. This book explores the violence of these new forms of migration deterrence through the stories and experiences of refugees, policy makers, camp managers, and aid workers.

In an era where the discourse surrounding refugees often centers on Western borders, Poole and Riggan redirect attention to the Global South, where the vast majority of refugees live. Through vivid storytelling and insightful analysis, they uncover the violence inherent in migration deterrence policies, while highlighting the resilience and agency demonstrated by refugees in caring for each other and working to determine their own futures.

Hosting States and Unsettled Guests transcends disciplinary boundaries, offering valuable insights for scholars and practitioners in fields such as cultural anthropology, refugee studies, forced migration, international education, and African studies. By amplifying the voices of those directly affected by migration policies, the book enriches our understanding of the human dimensions of displacement and resilience.

Reviewers are praising Hosting States and Unsettled Guests.  Lesley Bartlett, University of Wisconsin-Madison, co-editor of Humanizing Education for Refugee and Immigrant Youth, writes: "In this exemplary ethnography, replete with vivid details and theoretical nuance, Riggan and Poole analyze how Eritrean refugees weather Ethiopia's shifting paradigms of refugee management and pursue pragmatic visions of their possible futures in a time of political and economic instability. This book is a deft and absorbing piece of anthropological and international scholarship."

Lauren Carruth, author of Love and Liberation, writes: "The book provides detailed, nuanced, and critical perspectives on some of the most important challenges of refugee life and refugee policy today: what it means to live as a refugee, how to work with host countries in the global south to ensure refugee's rights and needs are met, how to design education and economic opportunities for refugees, and how to ensure refugees' hopes and dreams for the future are not cruelly disregarded or undermined."

Shahram Khosravi, author of Precarious Lives: Waiting and Hope in Iran, states: "In a detailed ethnography that profoundly reconceptualizes time and temporality, Riggan and Poole show us the political reality and predicament of life and struggle in refugee camps in northern Ethiopia. This book is a welcome contribution to the field of forced migration studies."

Hosting States and Unsettled Guests: Eritrean Refugees in a Time of Migration Deterrence is now available for purchase from Indiana University Press and major book retailers. 

Anthropology Department