The Politics of Labeling Refugee Men as ‘Vulnerable’
Oxford University Press
Critiques of humanitarian work with refugees have increasingly called for refugee men’s “vulnerabilities” to be recognized. The deployment of “vulnerability” reflects the term’s centrality within contemporary humanitarianism, and its rapidly expanding use in feminist analysis. This article argues that calls to see refugee men as “vulnerable” fail to critique, and even seek to expand, “vulnerability” as a mechanism of humanitarian governance. This approach is likely to lead to more humanitarian control over, and racialized violence toward, refugee men themselves. In an era of calls for decolonial approaches, more radical critiques are required, which center the concepts, understandings, and resistance of refugees.