On October 5th, 2015, Professor Kathleen McNamara moderated an interdisciplinary discussion at the Mortara Center with Georgetown University professors Rochelle Davis and Susan Martin as well as Rutgers University professor Daniel Kelemen, regarding the current refugee crisis in Europe. Each of the three expert panelists discussed the origins of the crisis in ongoing conflicts in Middle East, especially Syria, as well as Europe’s role in providing shelter to the refugees.
Professor Martin discussed the shifting dynamics of refugee status and the challenges involved in building temporary lives abroad. Professor Davis described her research in refugee camps, providing direct accounts of the daily problems refugees face and strategies they are developing to combat them. Professor Kelemen discussed the inter-European politics that stand in the way of re-settlement and act as structural barriers to meeting the needs of refugees.
Through the discussion, they examined the way that although Europe has the capabilities to provide safety for refugees, many European nations are cautious to involve themselves. Following the professors’ remarks, the floor was opened to questions from the audience, which ranged from inquiring about powerful countries’ future roles in the Middle East to politics within refugee camps.