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Rawan Arar is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of California, San Diego and a researcher at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies. She graduated with a BA in sociology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2008 and an MA in Women's and Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Arar lived in Jordan from and conducted fieldwork with Iraqi refugees. Her research culminated in an article published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies entitled “How political migrant networks differ from those of economic migrants: ‘strategic anonymity’ among Iraqi refugees in Jordan.” In 2011, Arar was a visiting scholar to Trinity College Dublin’s Irish School of Ecumenics in Belfast. Her research in Northern Ireland can be found in an upcoming article in Nations and Nationalism entitled “International Solidarity and Ethnic Boundaries: Using the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict to Strengthen Ethno-National Claims in Northern Ireland.”
Arar is a political sociologist whose research interests include international immigration, race and ethnicity, refugee studies, human rights, gender, law, and conflict and post-conflict societies. She is particularly interested in understanding the international refugee regime, burden sharing between states, state sovereignty, and the role of international institutions. These theoretical interests have led Arar to consider refugee hosting in the Middle East in relation to refugee and asylum issues in the United States, Australia, and Europe. Arar’s dissertation investigates the role of Jordan in the unfolding Syrian refugee crisis. Through in-depth interviews and ethnographic observations, Arar explores the relationship between hosting large numbers of refugees and state sovereignty.