Forced Displacement from Ukraine’s War-Torn Territories: Intersectionality and Power Geometry

  • Citation: Kuznetsova, Irina, and Oksana Mikheieva. “Forced Displacement from Ukraine’s War-Torn Territories: Intersectionality and Power Geometry.” Nationalities Papers 48, no. 4 (2020): 690–706.
    • Topics:
    • Country and Regional Studies
    • Transnational Issues
    • Keywords:
    • Ukraine
    • forced displacement
    • Internally Displaced Persons
    • intersectionality
    • power geometry
    • bureaucracy
    • elderly

The number of internally forcibly displaced persons is growing every year across the globe and exceeds the number of refugees. To date, Ukraine has the highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Europe, with about 1.4 million people forced to flee from the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Employing Massey’s concept of ‘power geometry’, the modalities of borders, and taking an intersectional approach, this article theorizes how IDPs are situated politically within a protracted conflict. Such an approach offers the chance to see how the reaction to the war brings authorities to see displaced people as a static category and reproduces a war-lexicon in policies, which fractures the space of everyday life. Drawing upon qualitative research on IDPs, the civil society, international organizations, and public officials in Ukraine, the article concludes that intersections of gender and older age with displacement, and the lack of state recognition of these differing groups of IDPs, together with the lack of the economic resources for social policy, produces multiple forms of social exclusion.