Graduate students from Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service and its Center on Conflict & Development: Joel Taylor, Sailer Perkins, Jeremy Bowie, Christopher Martinez, Joshua Chaney, Kevin Thomas, and Youngho Kim, visited FAFS (March 11) and delivered the lecture: Informal Refugee Settlements and Agriculture in Lebanon. The presentation explored the influence that informal Syrian refugee settlements have had on agricultural product demand, production, distribution, and generally farming livelihoods in Lebanon. The talk focused on the research topic, question, and methodology.
About their research
There are currently 25.4 million refugees worldwide, approximately 5.6 of whom are from Syria. Lebanon, in particular, has a significant number of these refugees, whose impacts are still largely unknown in the country’s various regions. The Texas A&M student research represents a pilot study that focuses on the impact of informal settlements on the Lebanese agricultural economy from the socio-political context in which such settlements exist. Using a mixed-method approach, the research team analyzed the impact of the settlements on product demand, resource and commodity competition, and labor competition to understand if and how production output and quality, market and distribution, and participant welfare may have changed. The research hopes to offer insights to guide future understanding of the true impact of informal refugee settlements on local agricultural economies, local food security, and livelihoods.
About the speakers
Joel Taylor, MA in International Affairs focusing in International Development and Economic Policy; Sailer Perkins, MA in International Affairs focusing in National Security and Diplomacy; and Jeremy Bowie, MA in International Affairs focusing in National Security and Diplomacy, gave a talk on behalf on their colleagues.