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Complexity and Unintended Consequences in a Human Security Crisis: A System Dynamic Model of the Refugee Migration to Europe

Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)

Abstract

As described by UNHCR (The sea route to Europe: The Mediterranean passage in the age of refugees, 2015 [19]), ‘Europe is living through a maritime refugee crisis of historic proportions. Its evolving response has become one of the continent’s defining challenges of the early 21st century, with long-lasting implications for humanitarian practice, regional stability and international public opinion’. UNHCR’s figures show that over one million people had reached Europe across the Mediterranean, mainly to Greece and Italy, in 2015. Of these, over 3700 were missing, believed drowned. This represents a regional human security crisis. Sagan (The limitation of safety—organizations, accidents and nuclear weapons. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey [16]) argues that ‘Things that have never happened before happen all the time’. The mass migration of refugees should not have come as a complete surprise. The mass migration in Europe, North Africa and Middle East derives from a wicked problem space and is linked to humanitarian challenges elsewhere. Thus, the flight to European shores reflected not only the pull of greater long-term security in Europe, but also the failure of the international humanitarian community to meet basic needs in other places (Special feature: refugees and vulnerable migrants in Europe, 2016 [11]). This chapter explores the complexity of the refugee and humanitarian crisis in Europe and North Africa through the application of a System Dynamics model. Given the unintended consequences associated with policies and intervention strategies, the System Dynamics model examines the volatility of such interventions on migration.

Keywords

  • Refugees
  • Humanitarian crisis
  • System Dynamics
  • Complexity
  • Systems thinking

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Private discussion Ivan Taylor and Ali Sheikh, 28 Oct 2017.

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Taylor, I., Masys, A.J. (2018). Complexity and Unintended Consequences in a Human Security Crisis: A System Dynamic Model of the Refugee Migration to Europe. In: Masys, A. (eds) Security by Design. Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78021-4_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78021-4_6

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