A seminar with Lama Mourad, Research Fellow, Middle East Initiative and Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto.


Mourad's book project analyzes the politics of local responses to the Syrian refugee influx in Lebanon, the largest per capita host of refugees in the world. In broader terms, she asks: What are the drivers of state responses to large-scale migration? How do so-called “weak” states manage and govern migrants on their territory? Finally, what explains variation in sub-national migration policies? In the absence of a national policy response, Mourad finds that municipal policy becomes the most significant form of state response. She argues that variations in local-level policy responses to the Syrian refugee influx in Lebanon are to a great extent a function of local electoral competition and dynamics of policy mimicry within neighbouring areas.