chapter  6
Lebanon’s responses to Syrian mass migration
ByZeynep Şahin Mencütek
Pages 36

Chapter 6 addresses Lebanon’s policy responses to the Syrian mass refugee migration. It focuses on the policy changes in the refugee response and reveals the consequences of these changes with a reference to the multi-pattern refugee governance framework. To do so, the chapter first summarizes the political structure of Lebanon, its historical relations with Syria, and the policy paralysis situation in the first years of the Syrian crisis. Then, it moves to review in and out migration patterns of Lebanon with a specific focus on the national refugee regime before the Syrian mass flow started in March 2011. The following section addresses the initial response, which is called ‘in-action policies’ in the period between 2011 and spring 2014. Then, the chapter explains the critical juncture where policies are needed to change due to the growing pressure over resources and concerns about the protracted stay of Syrians. The following section examines the characteristics of governance and actual implementations in the protracted stage from 2015 onwards, defining them as a restrictive regulative pattern. The chapter concludes with addressing the consequences of policy changes over refugees’ access to rights and opportunities in Lebanon as well as growing discourses on return.