Modes of Ordering: Labelling, Classification and Categorization in Lebanon’s Refugee Response

LawTransform’s Maja Janmyr has co-written a socio-legal article on Syrians in Lebanon which has just been published in the Journal of Refugee Studies. The article explores the question of: how and with what consequences are individuals fleeing the Syrian conflict to Lebanon given various legal, bureaucratic and social labels by humanitarian, state and local government actors? A wide array of labels are imposed; registered refugee, labourer, displaced and foreigner are only a few of the various categories that have developed to govern their presence. The authors argue that each of these belongs to and reproduces various modes of ordering, each with its own set of implications for what a Syrian may do, how her presence is understood by others in the community, and what type of rights and protections she may have access to. Importantly, the emergence of labels in one arena often influences how and why another set of labels takes shape in another. As such, the categories do not operate distinctly and membership in one may create constraints or opportunities in another.

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