Political Change and Migration from the Middle East: Crossing Borders and Political Marginalization

Panel Code

The “Arab Spring” brought about political turmoil in the MENA (Middle East and Northern Africa) regions. It did not achieve the desired democratization or political pluralism, but caused global migration.
The refugees from Syria crossed borders through Jordan and Turkey to Europe, which caused the “refugee crisis.” Germany and Sweden became their favored destinations because of their “kind” acceptance policy of migrants and refugees. The papers presented in this panel focus on the agency of those migrants and refugees by analyzing their motivation and experiences based on the original filed survey. The failed political transformation resulted in armed conflict in Libya.

The destabilized territory itself functions as borderlands through which arms, drugs, and migrants cross the desert. The lack of state control presents serious challenges to International governance. A paper in this panel deals with the power struggle after the collapse of the Gaddafi government. While excluded from this wave of movements, Erdogan fortified his power base through constitutional change. This has led to further segregation of the politically marginalized groups in Turkey. A paper in this panel sheds light on this aspect and clarifies the role of the marginalized others.

Composed by the above mentioned papers, this panel investigates different aspects of political change after the “Arab Spring.” It leads to the surveillance of the marginal sphere in the Middle East and its influence on the globalized world. Based on case studies of crossing borders and political marginalization, the following questions will be discussed in the panel: For what reasons do the affected migrate? How can those migrant groups articulate their interest in host societies? What kind of mechanisms can be employed to hinder institutionalization of political pluralism? What is the role of armed forces in the destabilized political structure? The discussion will contribute to the understanding of mutually linked national and international politics.