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Explaining the (Non-)Encampment of Syrian Refugees: Security, Class and the Labour Market in Lebanon and Jordan

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Lewis TurnerORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor and Francis, 2015.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


In Lebanon and Jordan the (non-)encampment of Syrian refugees is serving states’ labour market goals. The Lebanese economy ‘requires’ large numbers of non-encamped low-wage Syrian workers, but the Jordanian regime assists its Transjordanian support base by restricting poor Syrians’ access to the labour market through encampment. While acknowledging the importance of both states’ differing historical experiences hosting refugees, and the security and budgetary motivations for policies of (non-)encampment, this article uses a critical political economy analysis of economic and labour market statistics to dislodge the centrality of the security discourses that increasingly inform discussions of refugee populations and the policies directed towards them. It demonstrates that the camp is not only a space of humanitarianism or a fertile ground for armed militancy, but a tool through which states spatially segregate those refugees, of certain socio-economic classes, whom they deem surplus to labour market requirements.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Turner L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Mediterranean Politics

Year: 2015

Volume: 20

Issue: 3

Pages: 386-404

Online publication date: 15/09/2015

Acceptance date: 30/06/2015

Date deposited: 03/08/2020

ISSN (print): 1362-9395

ISSN (electronic): 1743-9418

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/13629395.2015.1078125


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