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Political Science Tamirace Fakhoury

June - August 2024

The European Union’s External Refugee Policy in Middle East Geopolitics: Archipelagos of Policy Dissonance

What does refugee politics reveal about policy dissonance? And how does it enable a nuanced insight into the spatiality and dispersion of power beyond the focus on classical geopolitics? My research project looks at refugee policy in the Euro-Middle East as a messy spatiality of power where asylum policies and bordering practices mutually influence and contest each other. I draw on relational approaches that decenter the focus from EU governance and that conceptualize the political agency of the so-called ‘borderlands. Building on the case of Syrian displacement, I explore how Middle East polities and societies have shaped the EU’s resilience-building discursive practices and externalization strategies of migration control. I further explore what this means for refugees’ rights and protection, and for responsibility-sharing.

The project is structured around four streams:

- How have governments in the Middle East interpreted and enacted the EU's external refugee instruments? In what ways have their governance legacies, legal frameworks, and economic systems reshaped the EU's normative and funding power?

- What are the on-the-ground effects of the refugee instruments that have been negotiated, particularly in terms of asylum policy formulation, and the livelihoods and protection of refugees in the region?

- Which "pathways" and "criteria for evaluation" (Young 1978) might clarify the limited impact of the EU's funding power in addressing prolonged displacement in the Middle East, despite the EU's declared aims of promoting resilience and joint burden-sharing?

-And (as an avenue for further research), how can the EU and regional host states in the Middle East draw on their contentious cooperation on refugee issues as an opportunity for reflexive and learning-based governance?


Tamirace Fakhoury is Associate Professor of International Politics and Conflict at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the US. Before joining Fletcher, she was Associate Professor of Political Science at Aalborg University in its Copenhagen Campus (Denmark), and a visiting Professor as well as the Kuwait Chair at Sciences Po in Paris (2020-2022). Prior to this, Tamirace was Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the Lebanese American University and the Director of the Institute for Social Justice and Conflict Resolution (ISJCR). During the summer semesters from 2012 until 2016, she was a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of California in Berkeley. Tamirace is the recipient of several research fellowships such as the Jean Monnet Fellowship at the European University in Florence in Florence.

Her research is about the dilemmas of peace, inclusive governance and democratization in post-conflict societies, the politics of refuge and migration in conflict-affected areas, and the multilateral policies of actors such as the European Union and the United Nations in conflict and cooperation.


Selected publications

Tamirace Fakhoury (Anthology Editor) , Dawn Chatty (Anthology Editor) Refugee Governance in the Arab World: The International Refugee Regime and Global Politics

Bloomsbury Publishing

Tamirace Fakhoury, Allison McCulloch How Do Consociations Craft Asylum Policy? Lebanon’s Response to Conflict-Induced Displacement as an Exploratory Case

International Studies Quarterly, Volume 67, Issue 3, September 2023

Tamirace, Fakhoury, Zeynep S. Mencütek The Geopolitics of Return Migration in the International System

Geopolitics 2023, Volume 28, No 3, 959-978