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Disaggregating Jordan’s Syrian refugee response: the ‘many hands’ of the Jordanian state

Ali, Ali (2021) Disaggregating Jordan’s Syrian refugee response: the ‘many hands’ of the Jordanian state. Mediterranean Politics. ISSN 1362-9395

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13629395.2021.1922969


This is a disaggregated study of different factors which shaped Jordan’s Syrian refugee response. It considers the response’s internal workings and how hosting a large displaced population from the Mediterranean state of Syria is distributed across different public institutions with the involvement of international actors. The argument is that an agenda intent on securing the status quo influences the response, but that it is not always coherently implemented by the many hands of the Jordanian state. The main aims are to resist the permanence of Syrians so as not to undermine the demographic balance that favours Trans-Jordanians; to secure income for hosting Syrians; and to limit the possibilities for formal Syrian economic competition with Jordanians. At the same time, and related to these aims, there are initiatives to render Syrians legible, and these legibility initiatives serve different goals depending on which hand of the state is enacting them. The paper is based on qualitative fieldwork conducted from December 2016 to March 2017 in Jordan. It features interviews with Jordanian officials from national and municipal institutions, and with staff from international organizations.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Institute of Global Affairs
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 15:06
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2022 08:30

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