Kevin Thomas, Population Research Institute affiliate and associate professor of sociology, demography, and African studies, recently published his book titled, "Contract Workers, Risk, and the War in Iraq". The publication explores why migrants risk traveling to Iraq despite the dangers of the current conflict.
People who migrate from areas like Sierra Leone are escaping the high rates of poverty and unemployment caused by previous wars in these countries. Thomas suggests that the opportunity for a better life through working for private military corporations on U.S. military bases outweighs the possible risks of coming to a country that is a site of ongoing combat. Using accounts from the Sierra Leone workers themselves, Thomas studies their experiences in Sierra Leone, at U.S. bases, and after they return home to understand risk dynamics, provide theoretical framework for researchers, and offer recommendations for policymakers to aid this population.
For those interested in Thomas’ book, click here.
This publication was made possible with the support from the Population Research Institute, part of the Social Science Research Institute.