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Managing through ad hoc measures: Syrian refugees and the politics of waiting in Lebanon

Sanyal, Romola ORCID: 0000-0001-5942-5634 (2018) Managing through ad hoc measures: Syrian refugees and the politics of waiting in Lebanon. Political Geography, 66. pp. 67-75. ISSN 0962-6298

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.polgeo.2018.08.015


This paper explores how the ad hoc and uneven implementation and enforcement of policies in the context of the Global South particularly in situations of large-scale refugee crises creates forms of waiting and precarity amongst refugees. This exploration is initiated by questions about how states in the Global South manage mass displacements of people whilst adhering to the principles of non-refoulement, a customary international law forbidding countries from forcibly returning refugees to conditions that may endanger their lives. How is this complicated in situations where states are not party to the Refugee convention and where refugee crises become protracted? How does this then lead to immobilizing refugees and compelling them to wait? I focus on the practices of the Lebanese state in response to the Syrian refugee crisis that has continued on from 2011. Lebanon has changed its regulations and decisions towards the large number of Syrians living in the country over the course of the crisis whilst adhering to the principle of non-refoulement. However, the policies enacted by the government are arbitrarily implemented and enforced at different scales of governance creating legal anxieties and immobilities for Syrians in the country. I draw on the work of critical legal and political geographers to argue that the ad hoc nature of the law, creates a fragmented landscape of mobility for Syrians, exacerbating conditions of precarity and poverty and, importantly, colonizing their futures.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2018 Crown Copyright
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2018 14:59
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 18:57

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