Refugee and Demographic Change: Syrian Refugee in Lebanon and the Rise of the New Conflict

Heavy Nala Estriani



The aim of this paper is to examine the influx of Syrian refugee flow and how it affects the population and shapes the demographic changes in Lebanon. Over the years, the demographic balance in Lebanon was determined by the sectarian balance which managed through its confessional proportional political system. The massive exodus of Syrian refugee in Lebanon has changed the country’s demographic composition in which majority of Syrian refugee comes from Moslem Sunni. Thus, it challenges the other groups of Christian Maronite, Moslem Shia, and Druze that fears for the loss of their predominance in Lebanon. This paper argues that the presence of Syrian refugee has challenged the sectarian balance in Lebanon. This unbalanced condition has further endangered Lebanon security and exacerbated its stability and placed both refugees and Lebanese into serious violent conflict. Thus, the condition further challenges the human security aspect for both disputed parties.

Key words: Refugee, Demography, Lebanon, Syrian, Conflict, Ethnic


Refugee; demographic change; new conflict; Syrian; Lebanon;

Full Text:



Abou Zeid, M. (2014, October 26). A Time Bomb in Lebanon: The Syrian Refugee Crisis [Syrian in Crisis]. Retrieved December 8, 2018, from

Atallah, S., & Mahdi, D. (2018). Law and Politics of "Safe Zones" and Forced Return to Syria: Refugee Politics in Lebanon. The Lebanese Center for Policy Studies , 43. Retrieved from

Ayoub, J. (2017, April 13). Lebanese politicians are scapegoating Syrian refugees. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from

Champion, AG (1994). International Migration and Demographic Change in the Developed World. Urban Studies , 31 (4–5), 653–677.

Cherri, Z., Arcos González, P., & Castro Delgado, R. (2016). The Lebanese-Syrian crisis: impact of influx of Syrian refugees to already weak state. Risk Management and Healthcare Policy , 9 , 165–172.

Christopersen, M., & Thorleifsson, C. (2013). Ambivalent Hospitality: Coping Strategies and Local Responses to Syria Refugees in Lebanon (Protection and Human Rights). FAFO Institute for Applied International Studies. Retrieved from

Daily Star. (2016, February 15). Raad: Syrian refugees in Lebanon 'a time bomb' | News, Lebanon News | THE DAILY STAR. Retrieved August 12, 2018, from

Dekmejian, RH (1978). Consociational Democracy in Crisis: The Case of Lebanon. Comparative Politics , 10 (2), 251–265.

Dionigi, F. (2016, February). The Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon: state fragility and social resilience [Monograph]. Retrieved March 30, 2018, from

Goldstone, JA (2002). Population and Security: How Demographic Change can Lead to Violent Conflict. Journal of International Affairs , 56 ((1)), 3–22.

Khouri, A. (2017). The Double-edged Sword of a Successful Securitization? The Case of the Securitization of Refugees From Syria in Lebanon Since 2011. Retrieved from

Krcmaric, D. (2014). Refugee Flows, Ethnic Power Relations, and the Spread of Conflict. Security Studies , 23 (1), 182–216.

McCarthy, N. (2017). Lebanon Still Has Hosts The Most Refugees Per Capita By Far [Infographic]. Retrieved March 30, 2018, from /

Middle East Institute. (2013, July 15). Demography and Violence in Lebanon. Retrieved December 7, 2018, from

Nichiporuk, B. (2000). The security dynamics of demographic factors . Santa Monica, Ca: Rand.

Nordström, E. (2017). The Syrian Refugee crisis in Lebanon: Facing another civil war? Retrieved from

Rainey, V. (2015, March 11). Lebanon: No formal refugee camps for Syrians [News Article]. Retrieved April 2, 2018, from

Salehyan, I. (2008). The Externalities of Civil Strife: Refugees as a Source of International Conflict. American Journal of Political Science , 52 (4), 787–801.

Salehyan, I., & Gleditsch, KS (2006). Refugees and the Spread of Civil War. International Organization , 60 (02).

Schopfer, LA (2015). Lebanon's challenged stability in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis . Aalborg University, Denmark. Retrieved from

Turbay, MG (2015). The 'Politics of Representation': Syrian Refugees in the Official Discourse in Lebanon (2011-2015) . International Institute of Social Studies, The Netherland. Retrieved from

UNHCR. (2017). Syria emergency. Retrieved March 30, 2018, from

Urdal, H. (2005). People vs. Malthus: Population Pressure, Environmental Degradation, and Armed Conflict Revisited. Journal of Peace Research , 42 (4), 417–434.

Weaver, M. (2017, March 30). Syrian refugees: more than 5m in neighboring countries now, says UN. The Guardian . Retrieved from

| Abstract views : 172 | PDF views : 16


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Global-Local Interactions

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This work is licensed under


E-ISSN: 2657-0009