David Lagarde: Dynamics and Networks of the Syrian Exodus

Dynamics and Networks of the Syrian Exodus in the Euro-Mediterranean Space. Jordan as a Place of Transit and Settlement for Syrian Refugees

David Lagarde

David Lagarde

This research intends to better understand the current patterns of migration from Syria to Jordan. It thus intend to highlight the social, temporal and spatial dynamism of Syrian migratory networks by showing (i) how previous circular labour migration and the transnational social networks developed over time have contributed to shape post-2011 emigration processes; (ii) how the reinforcement of migration controls reshapes refugees’ itineraries and thereby the characteristics and the efficiency of the social networks they rely on in order to access resources (e.g. mobility, housing, employment). This approach intends to emphasize refugees’ autonomy and self decision-making from a long-term perspective in order to tackle the humanitarian perception that usually deems this population as being extremely vulnerable. On the other hand, understanding these rapidly changing migratory networks and the Jordanian migration policies (especially the implementation of refugee camps and transit centres at the border, as well as drastic restrictions toward the informal employment of Syrians in the country) should also help to shed light on the ongoing trends of asylum migration from Middle East to Europe. To conclude with the objectives of this research, looking beyond the strict separation of places of departure, transit and arrival, as well as the distinction between voluntary and forced migration will also emphasize the process by “which immigrants build social fields that link together their country of origin and their country of settlement” (Glick Schiller et al., 1992).

David Lagarde is a PhD candidate in geography at the LISST (Laboratoire interdisciplinaire solidarités, sociétés, territoires) in the University of Toulouse. His research questions the links between social and spatial networks in Syrian refugees’ journeys, focusing mainly on the conditions of movement at different scales of the Euro-Mediterranean space (local, regional and transnational). On the other hand, his work pays a particular attention to the question of cartography and visualization in order to represent the complexity and diversity of these spatial and social dynamics.

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