Vernacular Security: An Analysis of Syrian and Iraqi Refugees affected by US Security Policy

Lead Research Organisation: Queen Mary, University of London
Department Name: Politics


The concept of (in)security needs constant redefinition in the face of the developing challenges to different groups of people, where 'security' in the traditional sense must be revaluated in current global politics. The diversity of any given group opens up new opportunities for a 'bottom-up' approach when evaluating security studies. Challenging aspects of security studies that claim to be objective and legitimate is crucial to furthering the contribution in security studies discourse. Vernacular security acts as an avenue to prioritise and centralise the ordinary person's understanding of security and to communicate such thoughts in a safe and responsive environment.
My doctoral project will analyse how refugees from Syria and Iraq, based in the UK, understand and interpret the US security strategy imposed on them in their home region. Through a vernacular security approach, I will analyse how refugees in this group, articulate the consequences and implications of national security policy. I will draw on the contrasts between the US foreign policy approach to security, imposed by elite actors in Syria and Iraq, and the way in which is it narrated by refugees through a vernacular framework.
My PhD will thus be a critical analysis of the US foreign Policy approach to security in Syria and Iraq by means of vernacular security expressions of refugees from the region. In doing so I will contribute to Critical Security Studies, by developing the vernacular security approach and US foreign policy analysis by contrasting vernacular insecurities with elite understandings of security.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2112863 Studentship ES/P000703/1 30/09/2018 30/03/2023 Hannah Owens