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Open access

Syrian Diasporans as Transnational Civil Society Actors

Perspectives from a Network for Refugee Assistance

Shawn Teresa Flanigan and Mounah Abdel-Samad

This article presents early qualitative data from an ongoing project that includes interviews with members of a Syrian diaspora network engaged in giving and receiving philanthropy. With the onset of the Syrian refugee crisis, the network began to provide education for displaced Syrian children in Lebanon in addition to its other activities. The purpose of the research project is to understand motivations and mechanisms of humanitarian assistance toward a conflict region, and also if and how the practice of philanthropy is tied to peacebuilding on the ground and individuals’ sense of political efficacy. This article gives particular attention to the civil society aspects of diasporan assistance, and how those engaged in humanitarian aid conceive of their influence on politics, policy, and peacebuilding.

Open access

Coming Together in the So-Called Refugee Crisis

A Collaboration Among Refugee Newcomers, Migrants, Activists and Anthropologists in Berlin

Nasima Selim, Mustafa Abdalla, Lilas Alloulou, Mohamed Alaedden Halli, Seth M. Holmes, Maria Ibiß, Gabi Jaschke, and Johanna Gonçalves Martín

In 2015, Germany entered what would later become known as the ‘refugee crisis’. The Willkommenskultur (welcoming culture) trope gained political prominence and met with significant challenges. In this article, we focus on a series of encounters in Berlin, bringing together refugee newcomers, migrants, activists and anthropologists. As we thought and wrote together about shared experiences, we discovered the limitations of the normative assumptions of refugee work. One aim of this article is to destabilise terms such as refugee, refugee work, success and failure with our engagements in the aftermath of the ‘crisis’. Refugee work is not exclusively humanitarian aid directed towards the alleviation of suffering but includes being and doing together. Through productive failures and emergent lessons, the collaboration enhanced our understandings of social categories and the role of anthropology.

Free access

Neutrality in foreign aid

Shifting contexts, shifting meanings—examples from South Sudan

Elżbieta Drążkiewicz

activities, I want to demonstrate how strongly the ideals, which are set up for the very narrow context of humanitarian aid delivery, in fact infiltrate all different aspects of aid workers’ lives. The events presented here took place shortly after the

Free access

Lukas Ley and Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov

-century teleological futurism of capitalism, state socialism or neoliberalism, argue Bandak and Anderson, is its ‘presentism’ in the sense of François Hartog (2015) . Bandak and Anderson identify presentism in secular instruments of humanitarian aid, management

Open access

From Vulnerability to Trust

Personal Encounters and Bordering Processes in the British Refugees Welcome Movement

Pierre Monforte and Gaja Maestri

of humanitarian aid, in a context in which refugees are reduced to their “bare life” and denied political agency ( Agamben 1998 ). This humanitarian logic of “dehumanisation and depoliticization” ( Stavinoha and Ramakrishnan 2020 ) is closely linked

Free access

Emily Anderson

with others in digital spaces. International development and humanitarian aid organizations, like UNICEF, have historically used old media tools to advance their agendas. Policy actors have expanded their engagement with new media tools to promote

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Fatima Khan, Claudia Mitchell, and Marni Sommer

Bettina Dembek. Commemorative Memorials Figure 10 Memorials commemorating Jackie and the efforts of humanitarian aid workers: McGill University, Montreal, Canada (left and center); Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (right). Photos by Sadaf Farookhi (center), Fatima

Open access

The Obligation Is the Point

‘Refugee 2 Refugee’ Care and Solidarity in Greece

Zareena Grewal

be non-partisan and apolitical, critical refugee studies scholars who have inherited Michel Foucault's biopolitical framework ( 2003 ) have demonstrated the myriad ways in which humanitarian aid and human rights discourses are inherently political

Open access

Expat, Local, and Refugee

“Studying Up” the Global Division of Labor and Mobility in the Humanitarian Industry in Jordan

Reem Farah

? And what implications does this have on humanitarian aid? Using the methodology of “studying up,” which I expand on below, this article observes the managers of displacement—or the humanitarian industry—as a transnational industry, and its workers as

Free access

Engaging Anthropology in an Ebola Outbreak

Case Studies from West Africa

Emilie Venables and Umberto Pellecchia

practical actions that can drive humanitarian strategies and health-care policies if a similar outbreak situation should happen again. The use of anthropologists in humanitarian aid and development organisations has been growing over recent years, with