Current Institutional Affiliation
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Geography

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Geography, University of Kentucky
Transnational Topographies: Syrian Forced Migrants Encountering the Refugee Regime

This proposed research examines the relationship between migration management practices of Western European states and the lived experiences of Syrian forced migrants seeking to escape the ongoing civil war in Syria via Jordan. It examines the state migration policies, refugee laws, and international agreements that constitute what is here termed the refugee regime - a set of institutional practices through which the migration policies of Europe and the Middle East have become increasingly interconnected. This research uses the lens of topography to analyze the transnational nature of the refugee regime, drawing on the perspectives of the Syrian displaced migrants who encounter and negotiate this regime. In doing so, this research re-situates the politics of migration management from a top-down disembodied conception to one informed by the everyday encounters, narratives, and struggles of forced migrants themselves. This project's study sites, Jordan and Denmark, provide important insights into the actions of states spearheading and implementing migration management policies and practices, and into the evolving connections between them. Specifically, this research seeks to answer two research questions: RQ1) How is the refugee regime constituted across transnational space? RQ2) How do Syrian forced migrants experience the refugee regime across their migration trajectory and once they arrive in Denmark? In answering these questions, this proposed research responds to calls for studies on how migration management and border control are constituted transnationally, and how migrants experience and negotiate their journey between places of departure and arrival. This research combines archival research, interviews, and participatory mapping with Syrian forced migrants, and interviews with staff of state and non-state institutions such as the Red Cross to achieve the research goals.