The Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO) is a French research centre with branches in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and the Palestinian territories. Created in 2003 by the CNRS and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the institute’s primary role is to ensure a high level of research about the region. The IFPO promotes cooperation with local academic institutions and scientists from all over the world involved in its research projects. It also supports young researchers in every discipline of the social sciences and humanities – from antiquity to the present day – and trains future researchers in Arabic. The Institute consists of three scientific departments: the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, the Department of Arabic, Medieval and Modern Studies, and the Department of Contemporary Studies, which participates in the MAGYC project.

This department consists of fifteen research-fellows and/or PhD candidates as well as around forty associated researchers. The Department of Contemporary Studies prioritizes two concerns: the first is to observe social processes as closely as possible by means of extensive fieldwork with special attention to the production of new data, and the second is to contribute to theoretical debate, employing diachronic and synchronic comparative analysis. Ifpo has a long tradition of collaboration with local research centres, universities, international organisations and local NGOs in the Middle East (Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Jordan). The researchers have all acquired in depth fieldwork experience in their respective countries.

Ifpo will contribute to WP 3, 4 and 8, focusing on three main aspects:

  • An analysis ‘from below’ of the narratives of the crisis, with a focus on the Syrian conflict, will be conducted. Based on a collection of archive materials from the revolt and the war collected in host countries it will explore the contested interpretations, representations and narratives of the actors involved in the conflict.
  • A comparative study of different forced migrants in Jordan and Lebanon will be developed analysing the changing policy response of host states and international organisations.
  • Micro-level analysis will be developed on issues including the link between asylum and labour market regional policies, access to rights, consequences on Egyptian migrants in Jordan and Lebanon, as well camp governance in Jordan.

Relevant programs

  • LAJEH program (2015-2019) (lajeh.hypotheses.org): Funded by the French ANR. The aim of LAJEH is to deepen knowledge on forced migration in the Middle East, analysing current refugee flows in their historical and regional contexts. Through a cross-disciplinary and empirically-driven approach, it analyses the implications of forced migrations on the host countries and the latter’s response. This research project will focus not only on registered refugees but also on the wide range of displaced and migrants groups affected by conflicts and their consequences.
  • SHAKK program (2018-2022) (shakk.hypotheses.org): Funded by the French ANR. The aim of the project is to analyze the evolution of the Syrian crisis from revolt to war: conflicts, displacements, uncertainties.

IFPO/CNRS will contribute to the following Work Packages: