Political Science IUB

Time to Go: Explaining Migration Timing during Conflict

How do civilians decide when to leave their homes during conflict? Migration timing can have profound implications for the politics of both origin and destination locations, as floods and trickles of migration can motivate very different kinds of attitudes and public policies. For civilians, it helps reveal which threats are the most salient. This paper uses 179 structured interviews with Syrian refugees in Turkey to investigate this question. Using Cox proportional hazard models, it finds that civilians who perceived that they had wasta—the capability to get out of trouble—tended to leave their homes earlier. This is because perceived wasta reduces the magnitude of perceived threats from selective violence, which is more likely along migration routes, and not indiscriminate violence, which is more likely in residential areas. The likelihood of civilians with perceived wasta to move earlier then increases rural-urban tensions in Syria. Findings contribute to understandings of conflict-induced migration, civil war, and the Syrian conflict specifically.

Justin Schon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. His research explores a variety of topics in contentious politics, including conflict, migration, and development. Additional information about his work can be found at his website
Wednesday March 22, 2017 12:00 PM
Wednesday March 22, 2017 01:00 PM
Ostrom Workshop, 513 N. Park
Allison Sturgeon
Presentations are open to the public
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