- Refugee warriors or war refugees? Iraqi refugees' predicament in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon
- Mediterranean Politics
- Volume | Issue number
- 14 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This essay attempts to disentangle a debate within the study of refugee crises and their security implications involving 'refugee warriors'. It situates the debate in the context of the Iraqi refugee crisis and its purported and real manifestations in three main host countries: Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. The research's findings show a serious divergence between theorizing on refugee warriors and the important case of Iraq's war refugees. In the light of this and given the comparative literature's own contradictory evidence, the essay argues that the generalized application of the refugee warrior label and the overstated prominence given to it by some scholars and by practitioners within the international refugee regime need to be critically examined. In reference to Iraqi refugees' abandonment in terms of protection and given strenuous efforts to contain them to the region, it is suggested that the label appears to have gained currency with the effect of helping to impose an 'in-region solution' for refugees and drastically curbing refugees' access to direct asylum procedures in North America and Western Europe.
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