- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - University of Arizona political scientists are looking at how people become refugees, including what tipping points make them decide to actually leave their homes.

The university says researchers Alex Braithwaite and Faten Ghosn (FAH’-ten GO’-shun) will use a nearly $1.4 million Department of Defense grant to study mass displacements of people from conflicts since 1990.

According to the university, an aim of the research is to improve understanding of complex relationships between refugees and their host communities.

Braithwaite and Ghosn say there can be ill-informed policy decisions and interventions because government agencies and relief groups can’t always predict why people decide between staying in their homes or fleeing conflict areas.

Conflict is considered a key motivator but the researchers say contributing factors may be personal, social, economic, religious or political.

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