Reverse Moralism and the Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationEditorial (Specialist Publication)


Anyone who works on issues related to refugees and forced displacement in the Middle East has at least once experienced what could be called “reverse moralism.” A year ago, a journalist interviewed King Abdullah II of Jordan. During the conversation, she raised a question concerning the situation of 16,000 Syrians stranded in the border area of Rukban into an informal camp with minimal access to humanitarian aid. The king responded that, “If you want to take the moral high ground on this issue, we’ll get them all to an airbase and we’re more than happy to relocate them to your country.”[1] The journalist moved on to the next question.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationMiddle East Institute - Refugees Adrift? Responses to Crises in the MENA and Asia
PublisherMiddle East Institute
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2017


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