The Geopolitics of the Family: Negotiating Return and its Impact on the Reintegration of Cameroonian Returnees

Publication Date: 
13 May 2022
Publication Language: 
Appearing in: 
Journal of International Migration and Integration

Based on in-depth interviews with 41 Cameroonian returnees, this paper aims to analyse the family as a site of geopolitics in return and reintegration processes. We unpack the negotiation between migrants and their families as a form of political power both before and following return and how this shapes the reintegration processes of migrants. In so doing, we emphasise the importance of the accumulation and redistribution of resources as determining factors in the expectations of returnees. Moreover, as a form of political power, the family is revealed as a source of support, guidance, and psychosocial trauma throughout the return and reintegration processes. Thus, this study indicates the importance of considering the entanglement between the domestic and the international realms in return and reintegration processes and how they impact on the psychosocial well-being of returnees, with clear implications for policy and practice.

Familial geopolitics; social support; return migration; reintegration; Cameroon