Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science


Kristi Andersen


integration, political participation, Refugee, refugee resettlement, South Sudanese

Subject Categories

Political Science


South Sudanese refugees are strongly motivated to effect change in South Sudan. After resettlement to the US, this motivation has resulted in much transnational political activism on their part. In Australia, Sudanese refugees have concentrated primarily on domestic political and social integration. Why? In this project I examine the possible causes of this difference, including the institutions, the policies, and the agents who implement settlement programs. I argue that refugee settlement policies of host countries directly shape the political activities of their refugees. When a host country provides assistance to integrate refugees, the government's policies and the individuals who implement policy (professional service providers and volunteers) influence what activities refugee leaders are likely to pursue. I find evidence that professional service providers are more likely to channel refugees toward domestic political goals, especially when they are implementing specific refugee capacity building programs. In contrast, volunteers are more likely to support refugee leaders in the political activities that the leaders themselves are eager to pursue. Due to different levels of centralization and institutionalization across these two host country contexts, they have different compositions of policy implementers and utilize capacity building programs to differing degrees. These factors play a significant role in shaping the direction of South Sudanese political activities. I use evidence from examination of institutional policies and semi-structured interviews of Sudanese refugees, professional and volunteer service providers, and government officials in the USA and Australia.


Open Access