IGP Stories

From 'Crisis' to Opportunity: Migration Research Priorities in the Middle East

RELIEF Mass Displacement Middle East

Earlier this year, the RELIEF Centre collaborated with the Migration Leadership team and the Arab Council for Social Sciences to convene a 1.5 day Global Migration Conversation workshop. This is part of an ESRC and AHRC-funded project to develop a shared strategy for supporting migration and displacement related research by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The report based on the workshop has now been published "From 'Crisis' to Opportunity: Migration Research Priorities in the Middle East". This paper feeds into the overall strategy paper.

The Beirut Migration Conversation brought together 40 researchers, policy-makers, practitioners, representatives of migrant and refugee associations and artists/arts organisations working in the field of migration in Lebanon and across the Middle East (including Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Jordan and Qatar) to identify: priority areas for migration research; pathways to impact that have been, or are likely to be, promising; and platforms for communication and collaboration that could help to bridge research, policy, practice and public engagement in the future. The key findings of the Beirut Conversation are summarised in the report linked above.

Here is a snippet from the report:

"While participants were in agreement that research can and should inform policy and vice-versa and that there is an important place for action-research, there was also a recognition that academic research must continue to serve a vital function in challenging and destabilising the status quo through more conceptual work that is one step removed from the day-to-day business of policy and practice. The view from scholars participating in the conversation was that not enough conceptual and empirical lessons are being learnt from previous research."

The MLT team is now finalising the overall proposed strategy for migration research which should be published by the end of this year.

Top image: Image by David Peterson from Pixabay

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