Migration, Mobilities and the Arab Spring

Migration, Mobilities and the Arab Spring

Spaces of Refugee Flight in the Eastern Mediterranean

Edited by Natalia Ribas-Mateos

Confronting questions of globalization, mobilities and space in the Mediterranean, and more specifically in the eastern Mediterranean, this book introduces a new type of complexity and ambiguity to the study of the global. In this theoretical frame an increasingly urban articulation of global logics and struggles, and an escalating use of urban space to make political claims, not only by citizens but also by foreigners, can be found. By emphasizing the interplay between global, regional and local phenomena, the book examines new forms and conditions, such as the transformation of borders, the reconfiguration of transnational communities, the agency of transnational families, new mobilities and diasporas, and transnational networks of humanitarian response.

Chapter 8: Palestinian refugees and the current Syrian conflict: from settled refugees to stateless asylum seekers?

Kamel Doraï

Subjects: geography, human geography, population studies, politics and public policy, migration, social policy and sociology, migration, urban and regional studies, migration


The Syrian conflict has had profound consequences for the Palestinian population in Syria. While Palestinians in that country enjoyed access to education and the labour market without particular discrimination before 2011, the conflict that began that year returned the Palestinians in Syria to their stateless status and forced more than 70,000 of them to seek asylum in neighbouring countries. This chapter analyses the specific treatment of Palestinians from Syria in the context of a broader discussion about the selectivity of migration policies in Middle Eastern states vis-à-vis Palestinians. The current forced migration of Palestinian refugees, which is largely overshadowed by the magnitude of the Syrian refugee crisis, raises many questions regarding the status of refugees forced to leave their countries of first asylum to seek refuge in a third country outside any international protection framework. This chapter is based on a study of the movement of Palestinian refugees since the mid-1990s and an exploratory field study carried out in December 2013 in southern Lebanon, which revealed the strong relationship between secondary migration and other forms of international Palestinian migration, as well as the local effects in Lebanon.

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