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Spatial interaction and security: A review and case study of the Syrian refugee crisis

Frith, Michael and Simon, Miranda and Davies, Toby and Braithwaite, Alex and Johnson, Shane (2019) 'Spatial interaction and security: A review and case study of the Syrian refugee crisis.' Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 44 (3-4). 328 - 341. ISSN 0308-0188

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Sir Alan Wilson's ideas and approaches have been highly influential in a number of fields within urban and regional modelling, including migration, transport and economics. Latterly, a substantial volume of research has explored the application of similar ideas to new problems, and at larger scales, many of which relate to major global challenges with significant policy implications. In this paper, we first review some of Alan's contributions in this area, focussing on his work on crime and security and its relationship with other dynamic phenomena. Following this, we present the results of some original empirical work concerning forced migration associated with the current Syrian refugee crisis. This work is directly inspired by Alan's work, and shares his ambition of contributing to a pressing policy challenge. In our model, which applies a spatial interaction framework, we examine the flows of migrants forced to leave Syria and the characteristics which influence their choice of destination country. In line with the intuitions of the broader literature, we find that shorter distances, economic prosperity, and cultural similarity (e.g., shared language and historical ties) attract forced migrants. Furthermore, we find that migrants are more likely to favour countries in which the probability of being granted asylum is higher; a finding with potential implications for policy. Contrary to expectation, we find little influence for levels of security in potential host nations (e.g. absence of crime and terrorism). This paper represents a preliminary modelling effort in this area which will be extended in future work incorporating dynamic models.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Refugees, migration, spatial interaction, conflict
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2019 10:28
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2020 01:00

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