Abstract

This article examines how the right of return is negotiated and implemented in post-conflict societies. It focuses on cases of voluntary yet difficult returns and identifies the conditions under which victims of ethnic cleansing choose to return despite opposition from new occupants and hostile local authorities. The article provides a theoretical framework for the study of return and examines the importance of security provisions, material incentives, contact, and ideology. Drawing on the experiences of Bosnian (Drvar) and Cypriot (Maronite) returnees, it emphasizes the role of social capital as manifested through refugee organizations and demonstrates how community effort resolves coordination and commitment problems, thereby facilitating a voluntary peaceful return.

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