Displacement is increasingly common (affecting one in every 122 people) and also increasingly protracted (over half of the world’s 14 million refugees in 2015 have been displaced for over ten years). Circa 90% of these refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) remain in the global South, and most of them, in turn, reside in urban spaces.[1] However, while it clear that we are facing a period of protracted displacement in (peri- )urban settings, it is less frequently acknowledged that this is also a period of overlapping displacements. This is the case in at least two senses. Firstly, refugees and IDPs have often both personally and collectively experienced secondary and tertiary displacement, as in the case of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees who had originally sought safety in Damascus only to be displaced once more by the on-going Syrian conflict, and of Sahrawi and Palestinian refugees who had left their refugee camp homes in Algeria and Lebanon respectively to study or work in Libya before being displaced by the outbreak of conflict in that country in 2011 (Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2012). Secondly, refugees are increasingly experiencing overlapping displacement in the sense that they often physically share spaces with other displaced people in diverse spaces of asylum: Turkey hosts refugees from over 35 countries of origin, Lebanon from 17, Kenya 16, Jordan 14, Chad 12, and both Ethiopia and Pakistan 11 (Crawford et al: 2015). However, in spite of the widespread reality of these overlapping groups, and given the interest in ‘superdiversity’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’ in urban spaces across migration studies writ large (Vertovec, 2007; Derrida 2007), it is particularly notable that refugees’ positions, identities, beliefs and behaviours in relation to other groups of refugees remain almost entirely unexplored to date.

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