Title Policy and Politics of the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Eastern Mediterranean States
Publisher E-International Relations


Release Date April 2023

Max Stephenson

Yannis A. Stivachtis


The large and continuing refugee stream that arose from the long-lived Syrian Civil War that began in 2011 has deeply affected the politics and demography of the countries of the eastern Mediterranean. This edited volume assesses the politics of the refugee crisis from the vantage point of those nations shaped by it, or whose leaders have explicitly sought to ameliorate it or use it otherwise to mobilize support. This book’s chapters suggest that several cross-cutting themes or phenomena have played vital, if varying, roles in east Mediterranean government and popular responses to the mass displacement and migration prompted by the Syrian Civil War. First, they highlight the problem of alterity or othering as a central feature of these nations’ reactions to the Syrian mass migration challenge. Second, human tendencies to xenophobia and fear of difference and change have played a key role in producing broad popular ill-will and government opposition to assisting Syria’s displaced. Finally, these currents merged in each of the countries under examination, although at varying speeds and to changing degrees during the decade of the Syrian migration, to generate calls by many individuals within them that migrants and refugees constituted a security threat to be met with demonization and removal and/or with efforts to ensure they were kept ‘at bay’ at all costs.