About the Event

Conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen continue to fuel a regional refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale. According to the UNHCR, there are more than three million Syrian refugees in the region, and an additional 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Outside of Syria are another 3.5 million Iraqi IDPs, as well as large numbers of refugees and IDPs from Libya, Yemen and the Palestinian Territories. The crisis is also straining countries that have opened their doors: Turkey and Lebanon and Jordan had by the beginning of 2015 accepted over 1.7 million, 1.3 million and 750,000 Syrian refugees, respectively.
The situation of refugees and IDPs is both a humanitarian catastrophe and a complex and ongoing challenge to peace and security in the region. In this context, the Centre for Security Governance, in partnership with the Balsillie School of International Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University’s Global Studies Department, hosted the third event in our eSeminar series on the theme of “Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East.” Our distinguished panelists discussed how the refugee and IDP crisis should factor into peacebuilding approaches throughout the region.

The event took place on Wednesday November 25 from 12:00PM to 1:30PM EST. An edited video of the event is available below.

Dr. Bessma Momani

Dr. Bessma Momani

Moderator

Bessma Momani has a Ph.D. in political science with a focus on international political economy. She is an Associate Professor at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo. She has been Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and a visiting scholar at Georgetown University’s Mortara Center and at the Amman Institute, a research centre to improve local governance in the Middle East. Dr. Momani is a regular contributor to national and international media on the Arab Spring and on global economic governance issues.

Bessma has authored and co-edited numerous books, including: Targeted Transnationals: The State, the Media, and Arab Canadians; Shifting Geo-Economic Power of the Gulf; From Desolation to Reconstruction: Iraq’s Troubled Journey; Canada and the Middle East: In Theory and Practice; IMF-Egyptian Debt Negotiations; and Twentieth-Century World History: A Canadian Perspective.

Dr. Philippe Fargues

Dr. Philippe Fargues

Panelist

Philippe Fargues is the founding Director of the Migration Policy Centre. He is a sociologist and demographer. He has been Director of the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies at the American University in Cairo, a senior researcher at the French National Institute for Demographic Studies in Paris, a visiting profes­sor at Harvard, and the Director of the Centre for Economic Legal and Social Studies (CEDEJ) in Cairo.

He has lectured in a number of universities in Europe, America, Africa and the Middle East. Fargues’ recent publications include: Is What We Hear About Migration Really True? Questioning Eight Migration Stereotypes (MPC, RSCAS, European University Institute, Florence, 2014); International Migration and the Nation State in Arab Countries (Middle East Law and Governance, Toronto, 2013); Demography, Migration and Revolt in the South of the Mediterranean (in Arab Society in Revolt, Brookings, Washington, 2012); Immigration without Inclusion: Non-Nationals in Nation-Building in the Gulf States (Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 2011); International Migration and the Demographic Transition: a Two-Way Interaction (International Migration Review, 2011).

Dr. Kim Rygiel

Dr. Kim Rygiel

Panelist

Kim Rygiel is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University and teaches in the Master of International Public Policy Program (MIPP) at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and is also a research associate with Laurier’s International Migration Research Centre (IMRC). Her research focuses on border security, migration and citizenship within North America and in Europe particularly Calais, France and the Turkish-Greek border.

She is the author of Globalizing Citizenship (UBC Press, 2010), co-winner of the 2011 ENMISA Distinguished Book Award of the International Studies Association and is co-editor, with Peter Nyers, of Citizenship, Migrant Activism and the Politics of Movement (Routledge 2012) and, with Krista Hunt, of (En)Gendering the War on Terror: War Stories and Camouflaged Politics (Ashgate, 2006).  She is the author of several book chapters and journal articles, which are published inCitizenship StudiesReview of Constitutional StudiesEuropean Journal of Social Theory andInternational Political Sociology. Professor Rygiel is Assistant Editor of Citizenship Studies.

Dr. James Milner

Dr. James Milner

Panelist

James Milner has been a researcher, practitioner and policy advisor on issues relating to refugees, peacebuilding, African politics and the United Nations system. In recent years, he has undertaken field research in Burundi, Guinea, Kenya, India, Tanzania and Thailand, and has presented research findings to stakeholders in New York, Geneva, London, Ottawa, Bangkok, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and elsewhere. He has worked as a Consultant for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in India, Cameroon, Guinea and its Geneva Headquarters.

He is author of Refugees, the State and the Politics of Asylum in Africa (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), co-author (with Alexander Betts and Gil Loescher) of UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection (Routledge, 2012), and co-editor of Protracted Refugee Situations: Political, Human Rights and Security Implications (UN University Press, 2008). Before joining Carleton, he was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto (2006-08) and a Trudeau Scholar at the University of Oxford (2003-06).