This paper analyses the politics surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, the country that, along with Lebanon, hosts the largest Syrian refugee population in relation to its overall population. It focuses in particular on the significance of policy legacies and policy memories for shaping perceptions of Syrian refugees and practices of managing them. It is based on the hypothesis that past experiences with large influxes of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan have shaped the Syria refugee response as much as the policy blueprints and professional experiences of international and national humanitarian and development actors present in Jordan, as well as other actors, including refugees themselves. The paper illustrates this confluence by analysing two salient aspects of the response: the numerous contradictory ways in which Syrian refugees are counted; and the shaping of labour regulations, particularly the negotiations around providing work permits for Syrians. It argues that in all cases, overlapping regulations and ambivalences, which stem from assembled policy legacies and memories, have been key to ‘policy success’, in the sense that they have made it possible to tie a heterogeneous set of agencies and actors together and create a semblance of coherence.
|Name||EUI Working Papers, Max Weber Red Number Series|
|Publisher||European University Institute|