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Dispossession and DisplacementForced Migration in the Middle East and North Africa$
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Dawn Chatty and Bill Finlayson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264591

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264591.001.0001

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What Visibility Conceals: Re-embedding Refugee Migration from Iraq

What Visibility Conceals: Re-embedding Refugee Migration from Iraq

(p.16) (p.17) 1. What Visibility Conceals: Re-embedding Refugee Migration from Iraq
Dispossession and Displacement

Géraldine Chatelard

British Academy

Since the Anglo-American invasion and the fall of the Ba’athist regime in 2003, Iraq has been through profound changes. New and heightened levels of human security have led to large numbers of refugees seeking refuge in neighbouring Arab countries such as Syria and Jordan. This has also resulted in internal displacement within the country. This chapter discusses the historical and political context of Iraqi displacement to the northern regions of Iraq and the neighbouring countries of Syria and Jordan. It examines the effect of the international humanitarian aid regime’s designation of ‘unprecedented refugee crisis’ to the forced migrants and to the political actors of the region. The creation of a state-centred approach and the visibility of Iraqi refugees created other invisibilities that concealed and obscured the question of the prevalence of forced migrations and the dynamics of cross-border ties which have spanned for decades. These trends of Iraqi migration have been shaped by successive coercive governments which have fragmented the population along religious, ethnic and ideological orientations and by the nature of the polities from which Iraqis sought security. By analysing the trends and context of Iraqi migration, this chapter sheds light on the true nature of the Iraqi refugee agenda.

Keywords:   Iraq, human security, refugees, Syria, Jordan, international humanitarian aid regime, unprecedented refugee crisis, migrants, state-centred approach

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