Journal Article

‘Voice’ or ‘exit’? From the streets of Syria to the borders of the EU

Published 1 September 2017 / By COMPAS Communications

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In 2011 and 2012, many citizens in the Arab world arose in what became known as the ‘Arab spring’. This led to a spiral of suppression and more protests, notably in Syria. These did not topple the regime but escalated into a long civil war. Several million people were forced to seek shelter in other countries. Turkey became the main host country of Syrian and other refugees as well as the main gateway into the EU. This article focuses on the interplay of protests and forced migration and analyses these events through the theoretical lens of Hirschman’s ‘voice, exit or loyalty’ model. It argues for a revision of the original voice/exit model, notably for acknowledging the interaction of ‘voice and exit’ and thus suggests a much more complex and dynamic model.


Düvell, F. (2017) ‘Voice’ or ‘exit’? From the streets of Syria to the borders of the EU, Geografie, 122, 4, 429–448.

First Published September 2017


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