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The New Grand Compromise: How Syrian Refugees Changed the Stakes in the Global Refugee Assistance Regime

In: Middle East Law and Governance
Author:
Rawan Arar University of California, San Diego, rarar@ucsd.edu

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The influx of asylum seekers in Europe in 2015 and 2016 changed the incentive structure of the “grand compromise” – the system of global refugee management in which states in the Global South host most of the world’s refugees and states in the Global North finance refugee hosting abroad. Asylum seekers interrupted the established status quo, and in doing so, created new opportunities for states in the Global South. I argue that a “new grand compromise” emerged. Major refugee host states in the Global South, especially those with large Syrian refugee populations, were able to leverage the value of their refugee hosting capacity and renegotiate policies to promote state-centric agendas. I elaborate on the case of Jordan to illustrate how government officials strategically capitalized from the influx of asylum seekers in Europe, making Jordanian resilience and development an integral part of the global refugee response.

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