Rawan Arar is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) and a ACOR-CAORC Fellow for the spring of 2018. With an emphasis on refugees, Rawan’s research contributes to scholarly debates about states, rights, and theories of international immigration. She critiques global inequality and studies the interrelated politics between states.
In her dissertation, Rawan explores the global system of refugee management with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the center of her analysis. Major refugee host states, like Jordan, are vital to the contemporary system of refugee management. However, their “refugee hosting capacity” has received significantly less scholarly attention as compared to their Western counterparts, even though approximately 86% of refugees live in the Global South (Jacobsen 1996). States like Jordan confront the challenges of porous borders and changing demographics. They address refugees’ urgent needs for food and shelter and the long-term challenges of education, unemployment, and the degradation of local infrastructure.
Rawan’s project explores how Jordan cultivates and maintains the capacity to host large refugee populations while preserving final authority over internal and external affairs of the state. Through an ethnography and in-depth interviews with Syrian refugees, Jordanian citizens, and government, UN, and NGO officials, Rawan studies the social construction of Jordanian sovereignty.
Rawan received her B.A. in sociology from the University of Texas, San Antonio and M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas, Austin. After completing her Ph.D., Rawan will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. In 2019, Rawan will begin her appointment as an assistant professor at the University of Washington in the Law, Societies, and Justice department. Her scholarship has been published in peer-reviewed journals including Annual Review of Sociology, Journal of Middle East Law and Governance, Nations and Nationalism, and Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Rawan has also written for other academic, policy-oriented, and generalist outlets including the Middle East Institute, the Scholars Strategy Network, and the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage Blog. Learn more by visiting Rawan’s page at the UCSD Sociology program.