Abdelaaty examines disparities in refugee treatment

Discrimination and Delegeation AbdelaatyIn her new book “Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees”(Oxford University Press), Syracuse political science professor Lamis Abdelaaty examines the factors that shape states’ responses to refugees. She asks important questions about why some states welcome refugees while others exclude them, and why some states cede control of the asylum process and refugee camps to the United Nations.

These outcomes are enormously consequential for refugees, who might be protected or barred outright from entry into a state’s territory. Refugees might be admitted and afforded opportunities to seek employment, access healthcare and pursue education; or they might be barred, detained and denied the opportunity to lead a safe and dignified life.

Abdelaaty argues that policymakers in refugee-receiving countries welcome refugees who are ethnic kin fleeing rival states and shun refugees who are ethnic others fleeing friendly states. When a policymaker faces conflicting incentives, they will outsource refugee affairs and thereby “shift the blame” to the United Nations. Using a diverse array of methods including global statistics, interviews and archival research about Egypt and Turkey, and content analysis of Kenyan parliament proceedings, Abdelaaty reveals the complex dimensions of refugee policy as it relates to state sovereignty and human rights.

Lamis Abdelaaty is an assistant professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Her research interests include international relations, migration and human rights. Abdelaaty has earned several external and internal awards, grants and fellowships, including from the National Science Foundation and the American Philosophical Society.

To learn more about Abdelaaty’s forthcoming book, please see the publisher’s website.