Faculty Publication: Assistant Professor of Political Science Aytuğ Şaşmaz

October 7, 2022

The IO Effect: International Actors and Service Delivery in Refugee Crises

Authors: Cammett, Melani; Şaşmaz, Aytuğ

Source: International Studies Quarterly, Volume 66, Issue 4, DOI: 10.1093/isq/sqac066, Sept. 2022

Type of Publication: Article

Abstract: How do international organizations (IOs) affect access to social services for refugees and host country nationals during humanitarian crises? We explore the quality of care received by Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals in Lebanese health facilities using data from original surveys in a nationally representative sample of health centers. Given its importance as a site of interactions with host country nationals, health is a key arena for studying local behavior toward refugees. Much research on refugees and intergroup relations suggests that Syrians would receive inferior services, yet other approaches would predict equitable treatment, whether due to intrinsic or extrinsic motivations. We find no difference in the quality of care for Syrians and Lebanese and argue that the comparatively equitable treatment of refugees stems from incentives from IOs at both the organizational and individual levels-a phenomenon we call the "IO effect." The study advances research on IOs and humanitarian crises by focusing on behavior and not only attitudes toward refugees and by highlighting the role of IOs in shaping the experience of everyday life for refugees.

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