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Spotlight: TRiSS Postgraduate Research Fellowships 2019/20


Laura Muñoz Blanco from the Department of Economics was awarded a Postgraduate Research Fellowship for her project entitled: Water over the dam: The long-term social effects of Internal Displacement. She describes her project as follows:

By 2018, 70.8 million people worldwide had been forced from their home. Among them, 41.3 million were Internally Displaced Persons. Moreover, the largest forced dislocations of people did not occur in conditions of armed conflict but in routine, everyday evictions to make way for infrastructure projects.

Water infrastructure projects are public goods investments. Nonetheless, in spite of the large population benefiting from the water and energy services reservoirs provide, their development has come at a cost. The construction of reservoirs has led to the displacement of 40-80 million people worldwide.

Being forcibly ousted from one's habitat by a reservoir is not only immediately disruptive and painful, but also fraught with long-term risks of becoming poorer and disintegrated socially.

This project sheds lights on the long-term consequences of Internal Displacement on Social Capital (measured as political participation) for receiving and sending populations of those forced migrants.