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South African war resisters and the ideologies of return from exile

Israel, M.ORCID: 0000-0002-1263-8699 (2002) South African war resisters and the ideologies of return from exile. Journal of Refugee Studies, 15 (1). pp. 26-42.

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While there has been strong research interest in the areas of voluntary and self‐repatriation, work on the actual process of return has maintained a focus on description rather than explanation. One explanatory concept that has been employed has been ‘the myth of return’. Using a case study of South African returnees, this article challenges the value of this concept. Instead, it argues that the process of return—and, in particular, the ways in which members make sense of the return—should be analysed within the context of the ideologies that underpin both displacement and repatriation. The article explores the impact of the changes in South Africa in 1990 on a ‘return group’ established in exile in Europe by the Committee on South African War Resistance. It discusses how the group prepared its return to South Africa and examines the ideologies of exile that sustained the decision of its members as individuals and as a group.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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