Theses Master's

The Double-edged Sword of a Successful Securitization: the Trade Off of Human Rights for a Flawed Sense of Security? The Case of the Securitization of Refugees From Syria in Lebanon Since 2011

Khouri, Andrea

The Syrian crisis has shed a light on the tragedy of refugee flows and on the behaviour of states when dealing with this tragedy, underlining the shortcomings of the current refugee protection framework. The forced displacement resulting from the Syrian crisis has placed the questions of state responsibility and refugee agency at the forefront of forced displacement debates. Indeed, refugees are increasingly being seen as security threats, not only by the potential host countries in the West, but also by the neighbouring countries in the region where most of the world’s refugee populations reside. This dissertation focuses on Lebanon’s policies of securitization regarding its refugee population from Syria since 2011. It will first present a conceptual framework of the theory of securitization, and will argue that the Copenhagen School of Security is not, on its own, adequate to deconstruct and understand the securitization of refugees from Syria in Lebanon. The dissertation will argue that a more sociological approach of securitization and a study of the context are required to better comprehend the process; consequently, the thesis will also take on a socio-political, and psycho-cultural analysis of Lebanon.

This conceptual and contextual analysis will help put forward the paradox of securitization. In other words, the increased concerns about security and policies emanating from emergency politics enabled a flawed sense of security, and often put at risk the population the policies were trying to protect. Indeed, the current securitization policies in Lebanon not only inflict human rights abuses on the refugee populations, but also create protection gaps for the Lebanese populations. These human rights and protection gaps are also the result of the current Refugee Convention and international community dynamics. This essay will therefore put forward the discussion regarding the role of non-traditional actors, such as development actors, in dealing with large flows of forced displacement, in an age where refugee displacement has become increasingly protracted. It will address the benefits of expanding the set of actors involved in protecting and managing refugees, and will explore the undergoing development projects involving refugees in countries similar to Lebanon.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Weinberger, Naomi J.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 1, 2017