Unwrapping the multi-level control and subordination mechanisms and their impact on refugees living in ITSs on the Lebanese-Syrian borderscape

Authors: Paul Moawad*,
Topics: Middle East, Migration, Political Geography
Keywords: control, subordination mechanisms, refugees, ITSs, Lebanese-Syrian borderscape, Foucault
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 41
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Drawing upon Foucauldian power characteristics and control frameworks, this paper is looking at the impact of legal frameworks and disempowerment mechanisms towards refugees living in informal tented settlements (ITS) along the Lebanese-Syrian borderscape. Concepts and themes such as power, control, subordination, fear, community relationships and perception, and socio-spatial coping are mobilised to deconstruct such mechanisms and assess their repercussions. First a detailed overview of legal measures stemming from a macro-level such as governmental, local authorities in addition to tangible and intangible institutional policies driven by international NGOs and local initiatives will be presented as to understand their repercussions on refugees’ productivity, politics of mobility and spatiality. Second, a decoding on a meso-level is presented whereas the community-refugees relationship will be dissected via the lenses of social anxiety, integration hurdles and perception strain towards ‘borderscape refugees’ living in ITSs. Finally, a reading through the micro-level whereas borderline ITSs regulations and adverse substrate and explicit interrelationships between refugees, shaweeshs and landlords will be investigated along with their impact on internal social cohesion, mobility and productivity.

This paper is built upon a large-scale research project including an in-depth data collection conducted between October 2019 and February 2020 comprising 107 interviews with refugees and 58 interviews with representatives from national governmental officials, academic and non-academic experts, host community members, INGOS and NGOS representatives.

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