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The Journey Home: Violence, Anchoring, and Refugee Decisions to Return

Ghosn, Faten and Chu, Tiffany and Simon, Miranda and Braithwaite, Alex and Frith, Michael and Jandali, Joanna (2021) 'The Journey Home: Violence, Anchoring, and Refugee Decisions to Return.' American Political Science Review. ISSN 0003-0554

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Abstract

While the UNHCR promotes voluntary repatriation as the preferred solution to refugee situations, there is little understanding of variation in refugees’ preferences regarding return. We develop a theoretical framework suggesting two mechanisms influencing refugees’ preferences. First, refugees’ lived experiences in their country of origin prior to displacement and in their new host country create a trade-off in feelings of being anchored to their origin or host country. Second, firsthand exposure to traumas of war provides some refugees with a sense of competency and self-efficacy, leading them to prefer to return home. We test these relationships with data from a survey among Syrian refugees hosted in Lebanon. We find refugees exposed to violence during the war have a sense of attachment to Syria and are most likely to prefer return. Refugees who have developed a detachment from Syria or an attachment to Lebanon are less likely to prefer return.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 May 2021 21:35
Last Modified: 19 May 2021 21:35
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30214

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