State Security and Refugees: Operationalizing the “Ladder of Options” by the Government of Lebanon


DOI: 10.12738/mejrs.2018.3.2.0004

Year: 2018 Vol: 3 Number: 2


This article attempts to contribute to the debate around the study of refugees and the security implications involving “refugee militants/terrorists.” It situates the debate within the context of Syrian refugees who have been radicalized or have voluntarily or involuntarily joined militant groups and Lebanon’s subsequent response policy as a host country. It tries to identify the various measures employed by the Government of Lebanon through the operationalization of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees “Ladder of Options” in managing security related issues involving Syrian refugees-turned-terrorists. It intends to (i) raise awareness of the impact of terrorism on host countries and their dilemmas in reconciling refugee rights and counterterrorism for security reasons; and (ii) illustrate specific policies and interventions made by Lebanon in this regard; and (iii) call for further studies on the subject in Middle Eastern countries grappling with internal political challenges at the same time as they are experiencing the huge burden of many refugees. The research suggests that Lebanon needs to address the issue of radicalization in a more comprehensive manner and that scholars need to re-examine the “Ladder of Options” in light of Levantine host States’ experiences and to develop a ladder of options framework for combating terrorism in post-emergency refugee settlements to safeguard State sovereignty, international security and refugee protection.

Radicalization of refugees, Refugee Radicalization, “Ladder of Options”, ISIS, Al-Nusra Front, Syrian refugees, Lebanon, Lebanese Armed Forces, Refugee rights, State sovereignty

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