Home Institution

University of Denver

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change


The study explores the views of Palestinian refugee camp residents in Jordan on the long-term provision of health and education services in the camps and their status as residents of the Hashemite Kingdom, contrasting these views with the policies and future plans of the Jordanian government. Special attention is given to the Right of Return discussed in UNGA Resolution 194 and the possibility that many refugees would willingly choose to remain in Jordan if given the option of returning. The study asks how Jordan and the refugees it hosts would be affected by a possible solution to the broader Israeli- Palestinian conflict that offered a much limited Right of Return, adding to the number of Palestinians who would remain in Jordan. Through a series of interviews conducted in the al-Wahdat and Jabal al- Hussein refugee camps and in a variety of government offices, the study investigates the implications of such an agreement on what were found to be the main issues facing the camp residents and government: basic services, integration, identity, inequality, and citizenship rights. The study found that the Right of Return would indeed be limited in all likelihood, with 60 percent of interviewed participants believing most of their neighbors would stay in Jordan regardless of a Right of Return and government representatives citing political and economic limitations that would further limit the prospects for return. The study also explores the concepts of home and legitimacy for the refugees in a qualitative style designed to encourage the opening of a dialogue on the issues Jordan and its camp residents are likely to face when a resolution is achieved. The study aims to begin an honest and pragmatic discussion of these issues since one has not developed in the literature to date.


International Relations | Peace and Conflict Studies


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