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Legal-Bureaucratic Categorization in the Postwar Period. From 'Displaced Persons' to 'Refugee'

This project reconstructs the significance that legal-bureaucratic practices of categorization had for the production and establishment of global categories of persons, using the history of the "refugee" as an example. Our hypothesis is that between 1944 and 1951, in conjunction with the ambiguous and flexible self-representations of people in transit, international organizations expanded upon, replaced, and ultimately left behind the situational category of "Displaced Person" (DP). The project combines a multi-perspective approach with an analysis of local, international, and state practices of distinguishing between humans beyond the nation state, and thus further develops a socio-cultural approach for researching the historical interplay of mobility and belonging.
Team: Anne Friedrichs (Principal Investigator), Christina Wirth (Research Associate); Jonathan Beil und Pegah Namasi (Student assistants)