The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The relationship between war(s) and migration is complicated by the fact that neither of the two are monolithic phenomena and the relationship between them is complex. Wars and other forms of violent conflict (state formation, genocide, etc.) involving state or non-state actors produce refugees and other forced migrants, who may themselves also become national or transnational actors within the political economy of wars and other forms of violent conflict. Wars of different kinds (invasions, civil war, third-party interventions) and of differing intensity may produce different migration trajectories and, in some cases, no migration at all but instead the opposite, involuntary immobility (Lubkemann 2008a). Displacement is often about massive humanitarian suffering and loss, but it can also be about coping, resilience, and emplacement in new localities (Malkki 1995a). And those who flee may be better or worse off than those who remain behind. The relationship between war and migration, then, is not as intuitive as it may seem at first glance.