Thomas McGee

  • Thomas McGee

    PhD candidate

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Thomas McGee (BA University of Cambridge and MA University of Exeter) is a PhD candidate at the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness. His research project focuses on Syria’s changing statelessness landscape since the start of the country’s civil war in 2011. Alongside this, he has worked with the centre in Lebanon on a project about “Nomadic Peoples and Statelessness”.

Thomas is an Associate member of the European Network on Statelessness and prior to joining the centre worked on their joint Stateless Journeys project with the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion. His academic work on statelessness has appeared in the Tilburg Law Review, Statelessness Working Papers Series and the Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration. At the same time, he has contributed to a number of Country of Origin Information reports on Syria and served as a country expert for immigration appeal cases relating to stateless Kurds from Syria.

Speaking Arabic and Kurdish, Thomas has worked for a decade as an analyst and advisor on humanitarian and development programmes implemented in Syria and with UNHCR in Iraq. He has also engaged on wider human rights and social justice issues, including research on Housing, Land and Property violations in northern Syria, and co-editing a journal special issue on “Genocide and the Kurds”.

Thesis Title

Syria's changing statelessness landscape: protracted situations and "ticking time bombs"

Thesis Summary

Syria is a country with several historic statelessness problems. Alongside the deprivation of citizenship from some 300,000 Kurds in the Northeast, more than 400,000 Palestinian Refugees may also be considered stateless. Additionally, gender discriminatory legal provisions and practices have created further cases (and risks) of statelessness.

This project traces the transformations and diversification of statelessness relating to Syria since conflict began in 2011. Doing so, it explores the statelessness-displacement nexus, studying experiences of stateless Syrians in asylum contexts. The project thus considers the expanded geographical and institutional landscape of statelessness, including how Syria has become a ‘laboratory’ site for statelessness for persons of non-Syrian origins.


  • Statelessness
  • Citizenship Law
  • Refugee Law
  • Middle East