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'Perspectives on the Global Migration-Refugee Crisis: Responsibilities, Rights, and Politics' - Sept. 16

In an effort to understand and respond to the current global migration-refugee crisis stemming from numerous conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, the International Studies program is organizing a panel discussion: "Perspectives on the Global Migration-Refugee Crisis: Responsibilities, Rights, and Politics".

Wednesday, September 16 
7-8:30 p.m.
McBride Gathering Space of the Numen Lumen Pavilion


Niklaus Steiner, director of the Center for Global Initiatives (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Safia Swimelar, coordinator, International Studies and associate professor of political science (Elon) 
Mussa Idris, assistant professor of anthropology (Elon)
Haya Ajjan, assistant professor of management information systems (Elon)

Jason Husser, Faculty Fellow for Civic Engagement and an assistant professor of political science & policy studies, as well as assistant director of the Elon University Poll, will moderate the discussion.

More 4 million Syrians have fled their homes since the war began in 2011, but this month the crisis gained new urgency as thousands of Syrians (and many others fleeing conflicts) made the difficult journey through the Balkans (where they faced resistance and barbed wire) before many of them finally made it to Germany, which has said it may take up to 800,000 refugees.  

And nearly 300,000 refugees and migrants have tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward safety in Italy or Greece, with thousands of people dying in the process. There is much political debate about refugee rights, states’ responsibilities (including the United States), and the capacity, political will, and national interests of countries around the world.

This panel discussion of faculty, with both personal and academic experience with the issue, will go beyond the headlines to help people better understand the current migration crisis, addressing questions such as:

  • What are the causes, politics, and consequences of the crisis?
  • How can we understand and approach it from multiple perspectives – the ethical, political, economic, cultural, and visual?
  • What is daily life like for people in conflict zones such as Syria and Eritrea and in their new “host” countries?
  • Why has the problem gained urgency now and how are countries around the world responding?  How should they respond?
  • What are the international rights of refugees and asylum seekers and what are our responsibilities?
  • Why are many leaders seeing the migration crisis as a threat or a “security” issue?   

‚ÄčSponsored and organized by the International Studies program with support from Elon’s Peace and Conflict Studies program, the event is supported by the The Turnage Family Faculty Innovation and Creativity Fund for the Study of Political Communication. The Fund was established at Elon in 2010 with generous contributions by Dave Turnage to facilitate the study of political communication and media literacy in the 21st century.  


Eric Townsend,
9/9/2015 12:35 PM