Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This paper aims to trace the political and legal ripple effects of the Nakbah – the mass displacement of Palestinians from historic Palestine beginning in 1948 – for those refugees who found refuge in Arab states outside the bounds of international attempts at their assistance and protection. It will present a legal and political analysis of ‘protection gaps’ – in short, the lack of international and national protection that should, in principle, be guaranteed to all refugees. In doing so, this paper explores the relation between the foreign policy agendas of autocratic Arab states and their domestic policies, which are aimed at controlling and, often, marginalizing Palestinian refugees. It argues for a layered and intertwined political and legal analysis, with particular emphasis on the impact of autocratic governance on human rights and the role of foreign policy in host state treatment of Palestinians.

More information


Working paper


Refugee Studies Centre

Publication Date




Total pages