The Syrian Refugee Crisis in the Kurdish Region of Iraq: Explaining the Role of Borders in Situations of Forced Displacement

Filippo Dionigi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

More than 250,000 Syrian refugees have relocated in the Kurdish Region of Iraq since 2011. The local response has been relatively receptive towards them. This study proposes an analysis of the concept of border and applies the idea of “border thinness” as an interpretative framework to examine the nature of transborder relations between the Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish areas. Relying on secondary sources, technical and elite level interviews with social and political actors in KRI, the analysis highlights how Kurdish areas of Syria and Iraq have maintained transborder relations which shaped the dynamics of displacement from Syria and constituted the context for a relatively receptive stance towards Syrian Kurdish refugees. Borders do not always mark a sharp territorial separation between social, political, and economic realities; instead a more complex conceptualization exposes transborder relational spaces, explaining the modes of displacement and its responses from host communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-31
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Migration
Volume57
Issue number2
Early online date23 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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