Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis


Best Senior Thesis in International Relations

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Jennifer Taw

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According to the Center for Global Development, over 60 percent of the world’s 26.4 million refugees and around half of the world’s 48 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in urban areas, mostly in low and middle-income countries. This thesis explores how modern refugee policy, which is primarily developed at the international and nation-state levels, influences how both refugees and residents navigate urban environments in host countries. The case studies examined in this thesis are Beirut, Lebanon and Istanbul, Turkey. Both cities are sites of ancient civilization, former Ottoman metropolises, and have found themselves front and center of tremendous waves of regional displacement in the modern era. This thesis ultimately identifies a severe sedentarist bias in refugee policy which translates to rigid municipal policy ill-adapted to the true nature of displacement. This thesis identifies potential solutions for compassionate, intercultural city planning by looking at other non-European cities and advocates for a mobility-centered approach to refugee policy.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.