MiReKoc Wednesday Webinar Series by Özgün Topak - Governing Syrian refugees by vetting

Author: Migration Research Center at Koc University (MiReKoc)
Time: 12:00
Location: Zoom Webinar (Registration is required)

MiReKoc Wednesday Seminar Series for Spring 2021 continues with Özgün Topak's presentation on "Governing Syrian refugees by vetting". The presentation and discussion will take place on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021, at 12:00 via Zoom. Registration is required for all participants via our MiReKoc website.

Speaker: Özgün Topak, Department of Social Science, York University

Title: Governing Syrian refugees by vetting

Abstract: This presentation will examine vetting practices governing Syrian refugees resettled to Canada from Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The vetting practices include detailed interviews and various forms of technological surveillance, including biometrics, databases, social media and telephone surveillance. The vetting officers use these practices to assess the credibility and the security risk of refugee applicants. Despite being a contentious public issue, the vetting process has not been examined in the academic literature. Using a critical surveillance studies and migration studies perspective, this paper will discuss some of the preliminary findings of an ongoing SSHRC (the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) funded research on Canada’s vetting system.

Short-bio: Özgün Topak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Science and a resident scholar at the Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) at York University. Dr. Topak is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose research areas include surveillance studies, migration and border studies, and critical social theory. His current projects include authoritarianism and surveillance in Turkey and the Middle East, and surveillance of Syrian refugees during Canadian vetting. His recent work appears in a number of interdisciplinary journals, including AntipodeSecurity DialogueGeopolitics and Surveillance & Society

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