Skip to main content

Turner, Dr. Lewis

lewis.turner [at]
Areas of research:
Syrian refugees in the Middle East; humanitarianism; gender, particularly masculinities; labour market access and integration, encampment policies
Regional focus:
Middle East, particularly Jordan ProfileGoogle Scholar Profile


Lewis Turner is a post-doctoral researcher working on the Syria refugee response in the Middle East. He has a particular focus on questions of gender (especially men and masculinities), race, work, labour markets and encampment. His work has appeared in numerous peer-review journals, including International Feminist Journal of Politics, Mediterranean Politics, and Middle East Critique; and has won multiple prizes: from the British International Studies Association, the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section of the International Studies Association, and the Political Studies Association.

He is currently working as part of the EU Horizon 2020 Consortium ASILE (Global Asylum Governance and the European Union's Role). This project studies the interactions between emerging international protection systems and the United Nations Global Compact for Refugees. Dr. Turner's work in this project will be on refugee rights, status and vulnerability, with a particular focus on Jordan.

2014 - 2018
PhD Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London: 'Challenging Refugee Men: Humanitarianism and Masculinities in Za‘tari Refugee Camp.' Supervised by Professor Laleh Khalili, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), examined by Professor Mark Duffield and Dr. Nicola Pratt, passed without corrections
2013 – 2014
MSc Middle East Politics, with Distinction
Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London
2006 – 2009
BA Hons. Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 1st Class
New College, University of Oxford
Professional experience:
2018 - 2019
Teaching Fellow, University College Freiburg. Convened a new course for advanced undergraduate students on 'Critical International Relations: Feminist, Postcolonial and Indigenous Perspectives.'
2017 - 2018
Guest Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Studies and Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS University of London. Delivered guest lectures on ‘The Rights of Refugees,’ ‘Economic Liberalisations in the Middle East,’ ‘LGBTQ* Rights,’ and ‘Critical Masculinity Studies.’
2016 – 2018
Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS University of London. At undergraduate level: Introduction to International Relations, Government and Politics of the Middle East; at postgraduate level: Conflict, Rights and Justice, and International Politics of Human Rights
2015 - 2016
12 months of qualitative fieldwork in Jordan, including ethnographic participant-observation and semi-structured interviews


Publications (selected)

2020 ''#Refugees can be entrepreneurs too': Humanitarianism, race and the marketing of Syrian refugees' Review of International Studies, 46 (1), pp. 137-155

2019 'The politics of labeling refugee men as 'vulnerable'' Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, online first

2019 'Syrian refugee men as objects of humanitarian care' International Feminist Journal of Politics, 21 (4), pp. 595-616

2019 ‘Making refugees work? The politics of labor market integration for Syrian refugees in Jordan’ (co-authored with Katharina Lenner), Middle East Critique, 28 (1), pp. 65-95

2018 ‘Demonising children at US and European borders’ Al Jazeera, 1st July

2018 ‘Learning from the Jordan Compact’ (co-authored with Katharina Lenner), Forced Migration Review, 57, pp. 48-51

2017 ‘Who will resettle single Syrian men?’ Forced Migration Review, 54, pp. 29-31

2016 ‘Are Syrian men vulnerable too? Gendering the Syria refugee response’, Middle East Institute essay series ‘Refugees Adrift?’

2015 ‘Explaining the (non-)encampment of Syrian refugees: Security, class and the labour market in Lebanon and Jordan’, Mediterranean Politics, 20 (3), pp. 386-404