Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The United States and the Syrian Refugee Crisis: The Impact of Orientalism on the Moral and Legal Obligations to Help Refugees
by Mirikian, Vahe, M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2017, 72; 13871630
Abstract (Summary)

As of July 2017, the Syrian conflict has produced over 13.5 million Syrians in desperate need of humanitarian aid, which includes over 6.5 million Syrian refugees. Throughout the conflict, which began in March 2011, the United States has failed to fulfill its moral and legal obligations rooted in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and its 1967 Protocols. Most recently, the United States has implemented a temporary ban which bars immigrants and refugees from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, Syria included. This thesis puts United States immigration and refugee policy in historical perspective. It analyzes United States policies from 1790 until the 2017 Travel Ban and argues that the decision to bar Syrian refugees from entry is consistent with a long history of exclusion of unwanted “others”. In this case, United States policy making, which has led to grossly inadequate humanitarian aid, reflects orientalist visions of Arabs and the Middle East. The thesis concludes that the United States has a moral and legal obligation to the Syrian refugees based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1951 Refugee Convention, and on the Kantian understanding of cosmopolitan hospitality.

Indexing (document details)
School: The American University of Paris (France)
School Location: France
Source: MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: International Relations
Keywords: Orientalism, Refugees, Syria, Syrian Civil War, United States of America
Publication Number: 13871630
ISBN: 978-1-392-03782-9
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