A new article published in the Journal of Refugee Studies presents research from the project The Politics of the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Written by Professor Alexander Betts, Dr Fulya Memişoğlu (now at Istanbul Yıldız Technical University) and Dr Ali Ali (now at the London School of Economics), the article focuses on the role of mayors and municipal authorities in the response to the influx of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon.
With the majority of refugees living in urban areas rather than camps, mayors and municipal authorities are recognised as increasingly important policy actors in the global refugee regime, but little academic research has explored their role and the difference they can make. This article examines variation across six metropolitan municipalities, three each from Turkey and Lebanon. It demonstrates that mayors matter because they may mediate the implementation of national policies and because they sometimes adopt supplementary refugee policies and practices at the municipal level.