Reluctant Reception

Project name: 

Reluctant Reception: Host State Migration and Refugee Policy in the Middle East and North Africa


Dr. Kelsey P. Norman (PI), (supervised by Dr. Antje Ellermann)

Project Funding Source:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship

Project Description: 

This project examines why a host state treats migrant or refugee groups inclusively, exclusively, or without any direct engagement. More specifically, it seeks to provide a better understanding of when a new migration or refugee receiving country comes to conceive of itself as a host state, and what factors—security-related, economic, diplomatic, or societal—cause host state policy toward migrants and refugees to change over time? While the answers to these questions have been expounded upon in the context of the Global North, it is unclear to what extent these explanations can travel to the Global South where host states may have illiberal or semi-authoritarian government systems in place and lower state capacity. Methodologically, the project draw on approximately 150 interviews with government officials, international humanitarian organizations, local NGOs and individual migrants and refugees conducted between 2014 and 2017 in Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon. It utilizes qualitative data to classify the type of engagement present in each country over the last fifteen years, and to examine change in policy over time. 

Project Stage:

Data analysis and writing

 Output to Date:

Concerns Over a Coercive Return of Syrian Refugees from Lebanon

Political Violence at a Glance (20 February 2018) 

Ambivalence as Policy: Consequences for Migrants and Refugees in Egypt” (2017)

Egypte Monde Arabe 15(3): 27-46.

Managing Migration in World Society: Interview with Kelsey Norman

Policy Talks (13 April 2017).

Access to Legal Residency for Refugees in the Middle East

Middle East Institute, ‘Refugees Adrift’ series (December 6, 2016).

Between Europe and Africa: Morocco as a Country of Immigration” (2016)

Journal of the Middle East and Africa 7(4): 421-439. 

Migrants, Refugees and the Egyptian Security State” (2016)

International Journal of Migration and Border Studies 2(4): 345-364.

Terrorism Carves Division Between Morocco and Europe

The Takeaway with John Hockenberry, WNYC Radio and PRI (19 April 2016).