6b Forced Migration and Policy in
the Middle East
Summary Researchers at FMRS have come to problematic the local
policy regime created by the state in which refugees and forced
migrants ‘cannot’ prosper or even attempt an acceptable
existence. Both domestic and international policy makers assume
local integration is not possible for refugees in Egypt and other
Middle Eastern countries, although resettlement opportunities have
dwindled and Middle Eastern countries are economically more prosperous
than many other regions of the ‘developing’ world. At
the same time, refugees do survive largely without any institutional
assistance, which suggests that they may in fact be more self-sufficient
and less of a ‘burden’ than often assumed.
This project will document and analyse the assumptions upon which
refugee policy has been based, the impact that policies themselves
have in either relieving hardship or continuing dependency, and
assess whether refugee policy may be based on incorrect assumptions
about the role that refugees play in the social and economic fabric
of Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. The research will go
beyond the simple documentation of refugee-related policy and the
position of Egypt and other host governments in this region, to
examine the intersection of policies that directly and indirectly
affect the lives, conditions, and opportunities available for forced
migrants and refugees.
Key Research Questions
How do international, national, and local
policies interact to shape the world of refugees and forced
migrants as well as that of host societies and institutions?
How are they affected by different strands of thought (e.g.
rights-based vs. needs-based approaches), and the interests
and lobbies which they embody?
What are the assumptions of international
institutions concerning the needs of refugees and forced migrants?
How efficient are international policies,
and to what extent are they limited by not taking into account
the national settings in which they are enforced?
How do refugees interact with the policy
environment in the Middle East?
How can policies be developed that enhance
refugees’ survival strategies and their contributions
to the host society, whilst addressing the concerns of host