Mixed and Complex Mixed Migration during Armed Conflict: Multidimensional Empirical Evidence from Nepal
Williams, Nathalie E. 2015. “Mixed and Complex Mixed Migration during Armed Conflict: Multidimensional Empirical Evidence from Nepal.” International Journal of Sociology 45(1):44-63.
Historically, legal, policy, and academic communities largely ascribed to a dichotomy between forced and voluntary migration, creating a black-and-white vision that was convenient for legal and policy purposes. More recently, discussions have begun addressing the possibility of mixed migration, acknowledging that there is likely a wide continuum between forced and voluntary migration, and most migrants likely move with some amount of compulsion and some volition, even during armed conflict. While the mixed-migration hypothesis is well-received, empirical evidence is disparate and somewhat blunt at this point. In this article, I contribute a direct theoretical and causal pathway discussion of mixed migration. I also propose the complex mixed-migration hypothesis, which argues that not only do nonconflict-related factors influence migration during conflict, but they do so differently than during periods of relative peace. I empirically test both hypotheses in the context of the recent armed conflict in Nepal. Using detailed survey data and event history models, the results provide strong evidence for both mixed migration and complex mixed migration during conflict hypotheses. These hypotheses and evidence suggest that armed conflict might have substantial effects on long-term population growth and change, with significant relevance in both academic and policy spheres.