Tuesday, December 22, 2015

How bad (in comparative historical terms) is the Syrian refugee crisis?

That's the question addressed in an essay and interactive graphic published in yesterday's Washington Post.

The graphic image above is static, but the graphics attached to the linked page are dynamic.  Refugee crises are grouped into three historical periods: the post-WWII era (1940 to 1960), the end of the colonial and post-Cold War eras (1960 to 2000), and the era the Post titles "Instability in the Middle East" (2000 to present).

Bubbles (whose size reflects the number of displaced refugees) represent each separate refugee event (like the 14-million people displaced starting in 1947 after the partition of India and Pakistan.)  Clicking on a bubble gives the crisis start and end years, the number of refugees displaced, and a short explanation of what caused the crisis.

We will certainly discuss these issues with our students this spring.  Bookmarking this link will be a useful guide to understanding and comparing each post-World War II refugee-displacement crisis.  Its clarity and interactivity will make it particularly engaging and informative for our students.

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