The Syrian Refugee Crisis How Democracies and Autocracies Perpetrated Mass Displacement
The Syrian war, the 21st century’s most protracted and second-deadliest conflict, has driven 5.6 million refugees and 6.6 million internally displaced into flight. As the civil war draws to a close, an autopsy of this historic and unprecedented refugee episode becomes feasible. Why did the war generate so many refugees? How did so many of them get to Europe? Who are these people, and why did they leave? From whom were they fleeing and why? Did European policymakers alleviate or aggravate the refugee crisis?
The Syrian Refugee Crisis argues that Syrian forced migration has been deeply misunderstood. Against conventional wisdom, it suggests that refugees engaged smugglers not just as traffickers or criminal exploiters but as natural allies and means to affirm asylum rights; that the politicization of refugees according to major actors’ foreign policy priorities obfuscated the role of US and European foreign policy in generating massive displacement; and that restrictionist border policies on the Balkan Route were inhumane, incoherent, and counter-productive. Relying on extensive, rare fieldwork data from five countries comprising the Balkan Route (Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, and Germany), this book sheds light on the understudied, counter-intuitive, and often-misunderstood dynamics of forced migration, refugee agency, border restrictionism, anti-smuggling policy, and migrant decision-making in the 21st century.
List of Illustrations
- Drivers of Displacement
- The People and the Journey
- Streamlining Misery
- Shifted Risk
- Methodological Appendix