Reluctant Reception: Refugees, Migration and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa

Key information

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Virtual Event

About this event

Seeking to understand why host states treat migrants and refugees inclusively, exclusively, or without any direct engagement, Kelsey Norman offers this original, comparative analysis of the politics of asylum seeking and migration in the Middle East and North Africa. While current classifications of migrant and refugee engagement in the Global South mistake the absence of formal policy and law for neglect, Reluctant Reception proposes the concept of 'strategic indifference', where states proclaim to be indifferent toward migrants and refugees, thereby inviting international organizations and local NGOs to step in and provide services on the state's behalf. Using the cases of Egypt, Morocco and Turkey to develop her theory of 'strategic indifference', Norman demonstrates how, by allowing migrants and refugees to integrate locally into large informal economies, and by allowing organizations to provide basic services, host countries receive international credibility while only exerting minimal state resources.


About the speaker

Dr. Kelsey Norman is a fellow for the Middle East at Rice University’s Baker Institute and director of the Women’s Rights, Human Rights and Refugees Program. Her book, Reluctant Reception: Refugees, Migration, and Governance in the Middle East and North Africa , was published by Cambridge University Press in November 2020. The book is based on three years of fieldwork in Egypt, Morocco and Turkey and is adapted from her doctoral dissertation, which was chosen for the Best Dissertation award by the Migration and Citizenship section of the American Political Science Association. Her research has been published in numerous academic journals and also in policy-oriented outlets including The Washington Post and The Atlantic . She is an advisory board member of Refugees Solidarity Network in New York, and she received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine.


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. 

The webinar will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those that are unable to participate via Zoom.

Chair: Dina Matar (SOAS) and Narguess Farzad (SOAS)

Organiser: SOAS Middle East Institute

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