DSA2016: Politics in Development
- Jasmin Fritzsche (Ruhr-University Bochum) email
- Raffael Beier (Ruhr-University Bochum & Erasmus University Rotterdam) email
- Loubna Abi Khalil (Rhur University Bochum) email
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria over 4.5 million people have fled the country to find safe havens in neighbouring countries. This panel will address the questions and problems that shape the local response to the Syrian refugee crisis in light of the regional political environment.
As a consequence of violent conflicts, the Middle East region has witnessed many waves of forced displacement which have remarkably shaped the entire region demographics, politics and economies. Most recently, since the outbreak of the conflict in Syria in 2011, over 4.5 million people have fled the country to find safe havens in neighbouring countries. Being affected differently by the influx of refugees, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have adopted different local response policies depending on country specific past experiences with refugees, political systems and considerations, socio-economic situations and demographical factors. These policies include the settlement of refugees in camp or non-camp settings, provision of assistance including access to basic public services such as education, health and local infrastructures, and the legal protection and socio-economic integration of refugees. In reaction to that, Syrian refugees have developed different coping mechanisms including mere livelihood strategies as well as the establishment of refugee-led social institutions etc...
This panel will discuss the forced displacement situation in the Middle East within the framework of local, regional and international politics. The panel welcomes interdisciplinary and theory-based papers around but not limited to the following topics:
• Socio-political impact of forced displacement on the hosting countries in the Middle East in light of the above mentioned country specificities
• Interface between local, regional and international responses to forced displacement
• 'Management' of refugee flows: The interplay of national governance and community-based approaches to hosting refugees
• Challenges to the implementation of international law: national politics, regulatory frameworks and refugee protection
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
The threat of Syrian refugee resettlement on Lebanese consociationalism
This paper examines the threat of the resettlement of Syrian refugees on the Lebanese consociational political system presenting the affect of change in demography and social composition on the balance of power in Lebanon.
In 1943, Lebanon achieved independence from the French mandate, and Lebanese leaders agreed on a convention called the National Pact, that enabled the heterogeneous society of more than 18 different sects to divide and share the power equally between Christians and Muslims. The National Pact created a balance of power among the different sects and preserved the Lebanese consociational political system especially after the Lebanese civil war 1975-1990. The civil war broke the demographic balance between the Christians and Muslims but the political system succeeded in keeping the balance of power and thus securing a fragile stability. Recently, the Syrian conflict resulted in a huge Syrian mobility towards Lebanon, where more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees escaped the raging war in Syria and fled to Lebanon constituting quarter of the total Lebanese population. The Syrian refugees share the same infrastructure and resources with the Lebanese, and they became part of the Lebanese social composition and work force.This paper examines the effects of Syrian refugees on the Lebanese consociational political system. It argues that the presence of Syrian refugees breaks the balance of power in the Lebanese political system, and therefore threaten the continuity of the National Pact that preserved Lebanon as a state since independence. This paper measures the relation between the social composition and the political system in Lebanon presenting the threat of the resettlement of Syrian refugees on the Lebanese consociational political system.
The displacement of Palestinian refugees from Syria to neighboring countries
This paper focuses on the displacement of Palestinian refugees from Syria and to explore the meaning of these multiple displacements.
This paper focuses on the displacement of Palestinian refugees from Syria and to explore the meaning of these multiple displacements. Many Palestinian refugees have already left Syria to neighboring countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, Turkey and European countries. It discusses the challenges facing UN, international NGOs and the Palestinian Authority (PA), in response to the Palestinian Refugees crisis from Syria to neighboring countries and Europe. This includes assessing the efforts of these agencies in responding to the Palestinian displaced in Syria as well.
It will allow the researcher to examine the impact of the Syrian crisis on the refugees' national identity and their dreams to return to their homeland in Palestine. It will explore the meaning of these multiple displacements in light of a comprehensive peace deal in the Middle East (including the consideration regarding the right to return). It explores if the refugees will support any future comprehensive peace plan in the Middle East, compromising the problem of Palestinian refugees caused by the establishment of Israel in 1948. The researcher develops his article in reviewing the existing literature written about the Palestinian refugees who left Syria to neighboring countries in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Europe. The researcher will conduct a number of interviews with Palestinian leaders, migrants themselves, and International workers if possible. Too, it is based on the author own academic research and professional experiences.
New crisis, old reflexes: Turkey's role in the EU's refugee crisis management
This paper argues that the rights of Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey are not sufficiently protected under Turkish immigration law, and that the EU can therefore not rely on Turkey in the management of the present refugee crisis.
Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2012, 2.5 Syrians have fled to Turkey. Whereas at first they were welcomed as 'brothers', now their presence is conceived as problematic. They mostly live outside the refugee camps, depending on social assistance and income from illicit work to make the ends meet. Extreme hardship is the result. The Turkish (asylum system created by the) 2014 Immigration Law does not constitute a functional legal framework to sufficiently provide for protection of the Syrian refugees, and many if not all dream of a future elsewhere, if possible in (western) Europe.
Until now, the reflex of the EU has been to grant only a small number of refugees asylum, while at the same time to look for (legal) ways to send most of them back over the EU border, or preferably to keep them outside EU territory in the first place. Turkey plays an important role in the EU's refugee crisis management plans, and has shown to be willing to play this role, in exchange for money and promises of visa-free travel and other rights. However, both partners in the EU-Turkey deals on refugees seem to ignore the fact that from the onset it has been clear that Turkey is already unable to provide for a protection regime that lives up to international and European standards, let alone manage the influx of even more (returned) refugees.
This paper critically analyses EU and Turkish reflexes to the mass influx of Syrian refugees.
The evolution of Israel's asylum regime
The paper will historically analyse the evolution of Israel’s asylum regime, from the 1948 war to present day, within the context of perpetual conflict in the Middle-East.
How does a country's asylum regime evolve? What are the main factors to determine its evolution? What responses to these questions can be found in the Israeli case study?
Israel, the Jewish nation-state, was founded by a people that represented the prototype of an unassimilated ethnic, religious and cultural minority. In the aftermath of the Holocaust and within the perpetual conflicts in the Middle-East, Israel's status as a haven for all Jews emerged as a pivotal force in the state's national identity and one of its central raisons d'être. In practice this fundamental commitment excludes almost all forms of non-Jewish immigration to Israel. Scholars have therefore referred to Israel as an "ethnic immigration country" which practices an "ethnically stratified migration regime".
Recently, Israel has become host to circa 50,000 African migrants, mostly potential asylum seekers. The dominant political discourse regards them as an existential national threat. Accordingly, the government and parliament have prompt stern and effective anti-immigration policies. In an unprecedented opposition to the will of the legislative and executive branches, the Israeli supreme court has annulled twice the anti-immigration laws in the name of Israel's commitment to liberal-democratic values and international law.
This paper will seek to show that the various competing agendas regarding asylum and unauthorised migration in Israel emanate from profoundly different worldviews regarding the national and the liberal-democratic definitions of the Jewish nation-state. The constant tension and potential opposition between these essential characteristics have determined the political, legal and social space in which the country's asylum regime has evolved.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.