What Visibility Conceals: Re-embedding Refugee Migration from Iraq

Géraldine Chatelard

in Dispossession and Displacement

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264591
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734397 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

What Visibility Conceals: Re-embedding Refugee Migration from Iraq

Show Summary Details


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

Chapter.  11311 words. 

Subjects: Migration Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.