What We Can Learn from Syrian Refugees: A Conversation with Daniel Corstange (S. 5, Ep. 7)


On this week’s POMEPS Conversation podcast, Marc Lynch speaks with Daniel Corstange, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Corstange talks about his current research, which focuses on gathering data from Syrian refugees. “You can think of a lot of different stories we tell ourselves about why there’s a war going on. And it doesn’t seem to be the case that any of them are the true story.”

“So we’re trying to understand why people think this is happening. There are actually very interesting patterns about why people think one thing versus another thing.”

“This is an existential crisis for a lot of people. It’s completely destroyed their lives at home. They are picking up the pieces elsewhere — sometimes they haven’t even been able to pick up the pieces. But it’s not the case that they’ve managed to get across the border and they can shut off what’s happening in the civil war.”

Music for this season’s podcast was created by Feras Arrabi. You can find more of his work on his Facebook and Instagram page.

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Read More from Corstange:

The Price of a Vote in the Middle East Clientelism and Communal Politics in Lebanon and Yemen, Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics

Anti-American Behavior in the Middle East: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Lebanon, The Journal of Politics