Forced ethnic migrants' integration : Syrian Armenians in Armenia and Lebanon (2011-2016)
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The current forced displacement crisis, with over 65 million people in 2017, and more than a third being refugees, means it is higher than since the Second World War. Therefore, integration of external forced migrants (refugees) in host countries is a high priority policy objective of the international community. Yet, the existing refugee regime largely fails in successful integration, including in cases of resettling in perceived ethnic homelands. This thesis comparatively analyses the integration process of Syrian- Armenian forced migrants in the perceived ethnic homeland, Armenia and unrecognised territories of Nagorno-Karabakh, and a regional diaspora centre, Lebanon. The work aims to understand socio-cultural and economic factor impact on the process, and whether some can be regarded as fundamental for the successful outcomes, the role of state and non-state actors in the process, and influence of the psychological state of mind of forced migrants on it. The selection of case studies is ideal for several reasons. First, institutionally, a host-community (the Republic of Armenia and the Lebanese-Armenian diaspora) is interested in newcomers remaining in the country. Second, NGOs play a central role, thus, due to their decades of experience, allowing to facilitate advanced methods of integration. Third, Armenians integrate into their ethnic kin community, thus arguably improving integration chances. Finally, Armenians have been historically skillful in new societal integration, which bodes well for future successful integration. The analysis applies the theoretical framework of migration, diaspora and social identity to empirical findings from fieldwork, state and NGO reports and media information. The key argument of the thesis is that although all factors of integration are closely interrelated, economic integration should be perceived as a defining factor in the overall success. Additionally, I argue that, where problematic economic integration is experienced, cultural differences against the host-society and sense of nostalgia become reinforced, thus slowing integration. Finally, whilst I conclude that economic integration generally improves over time, it is likely that where host-society culture is significantly different, newcomers generally remain a distinctive community, even if within an ethnic homeland.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2021-03-16
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 16th March 2021
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