This paper investigates the spatial patterns of concentration and dispersal of recently arrived refugees from Syria and Iraq in a country without stringent dispersal policies, Belgium. In order to capture both the mobility and the immobility of refugees, we propose the term “post-arrival geographies” for these patterns. Drawing on data from the national population register, we demonstrate that many refugees move to urban and suburban locations after they have been granted refugee status. Through a comparison with the geographies of the Belgian asylum system and with the spatial distribution of Syrians and Iraqis who arrived earlier, we also explore some explanatory hypotheses for these post arrival geographies. The observation that dispersal takes place in Belgium in an indirect way - through the location of asylum centres and local reception structures – makes us endorse pleas for more attention to institutional contexts and local settings in refugee studies.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie = Journal of Economic & Social Geography|
|Publication status||Published - 27 Nov 2020|