Displacement from homes and land is one of the root causes of dispossession and immiseration in the modern world.
Despite the high incidence of displacement, particularly resulting from development and market led processes, we know very little about displaced people. We lack robust data on the numbers of people displaced, where they end up, conditions they face post-displacement, and what resettlement, rehabilitation or restitution opportunities were available to them. The existing literature, drawn largely from anthropological and sociological studies of rural displacement, is not adequate for understanding the current state of internal displacement in an age of rampant land grabbing and increasing urbanization. The continued reliance by government and business on mega-projects as the main driver of development increases the urgency of research in this field.
The Displacement Research and Action Network draws on the interdisciplinary expertise of activists and communities, leading international organizations, as well as cross-school resources at MIT to create a shared research agenda, apply new tools and technologies toward understanding the consequences of displacement, impact law and policy, and prevent displacement that violates the economic, civil, cultural , social and political rights of affected populations on a global scale.