Estella Carpi

Estella Carpi
University College London | UCL · Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

PhD in Social Anthropology

About

97
Publications
12,144
Reads
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174
Citations
Introduction
I am a social anthropologist who loves working in interdisciplinary environments. I am primarily interested in how societies respond to human-made crisis and crisis management. I have predominantly worked in/on Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. My academic work has examined the impacts of humanitarian aid provision on identity and group belonging, the role of the state in humanitarian governance, and the overlapping of welfare and emergency relief.
Additional affiliations
February 2021 - February 2022
Koc University
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Visiting Researcher for the 'Analysing South-South Responses to Displacement from Syria: Views from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey' based at University College London (ERC-Horizon 2020, award no. 541123).
February 2020 - January 2021
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Position
  • Lectuer of Anthropology of the Middle East
November 2018 - January 2021
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Full-text available
This paper primarily aims at enlarging qualitative knowledge on how social settings and personal relations change while turning into spaces of humanitarian aid provision. The two major emergencies that Lebanon has faced so far will be taken into analysis: the Israel-Lebanon July War in 2006 and today’s unprecedented influx of Syrian refugees. In th...
Article
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As millions of Ukrainian refugees flee to host cities in neighbouring Poland, reassessing the experience of Syrian refugees in the Middle East can provide vital lessons for sustainable resettlement.
Article
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Academic institutions in the global North have historically claimed leadership in the production of high-quality scholarship. As such, it is their work that often informs peda-gogical materials in secondary and tertiary education worldwide. This dominance has serious cultural impacts. At the very least, it positions Western academics as 'custodians...
Article
Academic institutions in the global North have historically claimed leadership in the production of high-quality scholarship. As such, it is their work that often informs pedagogical materials in secondary and tertiary education worldwide. This dominance has serious cultural impacts. At the very least, it positions Western academics as ‘custodians’...
Article
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In this intervention, I make two main suggestions to humanize refugee research. First, the tendency to select "research hot spots" as field sites-where researchers tend to approach the same interviewees and spaces-should not only be called out and avoided but battled against. Second, I suggest that refugee research should collaborate directly with...
Article
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This article examines the epistemic politics of hegemonic humanitarianism by building on agnotology theories. I unpack the idea of 'professional authority' with the purpose of showing how the Global North's humanitarian agencies thrive on both a technocratic and an unpredictability approach. This epistemic politics is used to absolve humanitarianis...
Article
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Original source: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/north-africa-west-asia/educating-the-host-its-not-just-refugees-who-need-integration-programmes/
Article
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In contrast to the 'hyper-visibility' of humanitarian aid designed and delivered by countries of the global North, humanitarian aid provided by countries of the Global South remains mostly unseen. In this interview, Dr Estella Carpi and Dr Mirian Alves de Souza, discuss how countries in the Global South, with a particular focus on Brazil, have been...
Article
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Resumo Neste artigo, discuto a tendência do sistema humanitário de fornecer serviços às pessoas necessitadas em áreas afetadas pela crise baseando-se na nacionalidade. Através de dados coletados em pesquisas de campo com refugiados sírios, iraquianos, sudaneses e palestinos realizadas entre os anos 2011 e 2019 no Líbano, mostrarei como a hospitalid...
Article
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Based on interviews conducted during 2018, this article examines the challenges that Lebanese citizen, Palestinian and Syrian refugee “culture-makers” – primarily artists – need to face in the Lebanese context, and how such challenges differ from or overlap with one another. After providing an overview of Lebanese political history and how, within...
Chapter
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In this chapter, the authors endeavor to build a sociology of knowledge of studies con­ ducted on humanitarianism and war-induced displacement in the Middle East region, con­ sidering the cases of Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey in particular. A comparative analysis suggests that similarities and differences across the literature are not always...
Article
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Over the last two decades, leading humanitarian agencies in the Global North have increasingly promoted a policy of self-reliance, understood as making individual refugees financially independent from aid assistance through livelihood programmes. However, individual economic autonomy offers an incomplete picture of refugee well-being. Based on fiel...
Article
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Focusing on the 2011–2014 forced migration of Syrian refugee children into northern Lebanon, this article examines the child protection strategies of two international and one local NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Tripoli Governorate. It explores the psychosocial care programmes and play activities that are meant to heal and integrate...
Chapter
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This chapter attempts to add nuance to the scholarly debate on the security politics of borders and invites its readers to consider the practices and identities of refugees, host border societies, and earlier border migrants in a way that considers their pre-crisis (im)mobility status within the hybrid human realm of the border. The vacillating sta...
Data
This is the first humanitarian dictionary edited by Dr Antonio De Lauri. I contributed with the entries 'livelihoods' and 'emergency'.
Article
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Fieldworkers in politically sensitive spaces traditionally need to negotiate their presence in the field with local (in)formal authorities and epistemic power-holders. I illustrate how attempts at both holistic politicisation and neutralisation of the research space can question ethnographic knowledge production. Drawing upon the anthropology of si...
Article
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Since the 2011 uprising, the Arab world turned into a theatre of political and social transformations. While some have been visible, others, less visible, have however been able to affect the intellectual, social and political infrastructure of international research. Being an important scenario for regional policy developments (Eg. the rivalry bet...
Article
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This article focuses on Syrian-refugee self-reliance and humanitarian efforts meant to foster it in Halba, northern Lebanon. I argue that humanitarian livelihood programming is ‘neo-cosmetic’, as the skills refugees acquire through humanitarian programmes turn out to be little more than a cosmetic accessory. While the humanitarian apparatus deliber...
Article
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This article focuses on Syrian-refugee self-reliance and humanitarian efforts meant to foster it in Halba, northern Lebanon. I argue that humanitarian livelihood programming is 'neo-cosmetic', as the skills refugees acquire through humanitarian programmes turn out to be little more than a cosmetic accessory. While the humanitarian apparatus deliber...
Article
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Drawing on the July 2006 Israel–Lebanon War in Beirut’s southern suburbs and the Syrian refugee influx into the villages of Akkar in northern Lebanon, I suggest that the Lebanese state aspires to officially assert itself as a liminal space in a bid to survive crises and preserve its political capital, therefore aborting the attempts made by citizen...
Chapter
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In the wake of the massive human displacement from Syria (2011–), some international NGOs (INGOs) have intervened in Lebanon to prevent Lebanese and Syrian youth from “radicalizing” and joining armed groups. In the framework of international humanitarian assistance within the “Global South,” while refugee adults are expected to become self-reliant,...
Chapter
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Based on ethnographic research conducted in Beirut’s southern suburbs (Dahiye) and northern Lebanon (Akkar) between 2011 and 2013, this chapter advances a critical reflection on humanitarian lifeworlds in Lebanon and their encounters with war-stricken local citizens and refugees. Defining Southism as a structural relationship that cements the ‘glob...
Data
http://publicanthropologist.cmi.no/2018/09/15/southern-and-northern-assistance-provision-beyond-the-grand-narratives-views-from-lebanese-and-syrian-providers-in-lebanon/
Article
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This paper examines the hospitality provided to Syrian refugees during the refugee crisis spanning from 2011 to 2016 in the border areas of Gaziantep (southeastern Turkey) and the Akkar region (northern Lebanon). Hospitality, apart from a cultural value and societal response to the protracted refugee influx, is a discursive strategy of socio‐spatia...
Article
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The convoluted relationship between the state and citizens in conflict-ridden Syria often has been reduced to a binary of dissent and consent. Challenging these simplistic categorizations, this article analyzes how state mechanisms resonate in the everyday lives of Syrians since the beginning of the crisis. Drawing on ethnographic insights from Syr...
Article
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I here reflect on language, postcoloniality, and academic texts through student response in Italy, Lebanon, and Turkey.
Technical Report
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This paper is part of a series of research pieces produced under the Urban Crises Learning Fund managed by the Institute for Environment and Development. Funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), the fund aims to build an in-depth understanding of how the humanitarian sector can most effectively operate in urban contexts. This...
Article
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During the July 2006 postwar period in Beirut’s southern suburbs (Dahiye), which were destroyed by the Israeli air force in its effort to annihilate the Lebanese Shiite party Hezbollah, the Islamic Shi‘a philanthropic sphere has been growing. It has pioneered the postwar reconstruction process and local relief provision, while diversely defining it...
Technical Report
http://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/blog/20/12/2017/book-review-humanitarian-rackets-and-their-moral-hazards-case-palestinian-refugee-ca
Article
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Refugees increasingly access informal education services while dropping out from formal education provision. In this framework, what I call "emergency education" is increasingly provided as a humanitarian aid toolkit item. What social implications does this have? How do child subjectivities envision their future in schools established with short-te...
Article
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https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/estella-carpi/supporting-refugee-livelihoods-or-host-stability-two-sides-of-c
Article
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This work aims to investigate quality of working life (QWL) in Italian call centers in a gender-sensitive perspective. The research design involves the integration of qualitative and quantitative approaches in order to bring to light and try to understand the reasons for gender differences in the QWL in this sector of the labour market. The results...
Article
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This short essay will discuss the social spaces which, in times of crisis, turn into host environments for refugees and displaced people, and where humanitarian programmes are implemented. It argues that the “hosting spaces” that populate the media and NGO reports which tackle refugee influxes are constructed with direct and indirect purposes. Hosp...
Article
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Cet article aborde la question des territoires qui, en temps de crise, se transforment en terres d’accueil pour réfugiés et déplacés, et où des programmes humanitaires sont mis en œuvre. Il soutient que ces « terres d’accueil », dont parlent les médias traitant de l’arrivée de réfugiés et les rapports des ONG, sont d’une certaine manière « fabriqué...
Chapter
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A cycle of internal displacement and influxes of refugees in Lebanon has led local care providers to cooperate and partner with the international humanitarian apparatus. By using welfare as an explanatory screen of social relations, identifications, and frictions, this chapter highlights the blurred lines between welfare and emergency programmes in...
Article
This essay explores the relationship between Syrian refugees and local Lebanese. In particular, it discusses the dominance of the discourse of ‘hospitality’ in the international media depiction of this relationship and in the humanitarian response informed by it. As this essay will show, these tendencies have resulted in the ‘hospitality’ discourse...
Research
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Lebanon’s refugee crisis has highlighted the need for much closer coordination among the various organisations and local authorities involved in the response. A new study has laid the groundwork for a series of recommendations, set out in this briefing, on how national, local and international humanitarian actors can work together more effectively...
Article
In this study, while summarising what historically UNRWA came to be for the Palestinians, we will seek to investigate how nude morality, and therefore the language of dignity, make a difference in the human rights’ discourse, and, specifically, weaken the enforceability of the latter when these are deprived of their political and legal foundations.
Article
http://www.aldohamagazine.com/article.aspx?n=919E62BA-C357-4CE9-B5D4-E08F364F1789&d=20150601#.VX_7JPkYzIV
Article
http://humanityjournal.org/blog/the-abused-politics-of-minorities-and-majorities-quantifiable-entities-or-shifting-sites-of-power/
Article
http://allegralaboratory.net/dealing-with-reality-and-falsehood-in-the-field/
Article
The state has remained resilient in conflict-ridden Syria. A look into the intricacies of the abusive citizen-state relationship, and the state's Hobbesian passion for self-preservation. https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/estella-carpi/intimacy-of-tyranny-syria%27s-de-facto-state-legitimacy
Article
http://www.aldohamagazine.com/article.aspx?n=370812FF-2660-4210-8670-12F89DE1873A&d=20150101#.VKVy1mSUec-
Article
De-Homogenising Poverty in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut: When Citizenship Disempowers Estella Carpi Abstract Refugees in Lebanon have always occupied the lowest level of the Lebanese social pyramid, not accessing most public services and not even being legally recognised as such. Citizenship, however produced within a wavering and corrupted stat...
Article
Dopo una rassegna della storia locale dei sobborghi a sud di Beirut (Dahiye), trascurati a lungo dallo stato centrale, questo studio vuole fornire approfondimenti sull’amministrazione locale del partito politico Hezbollah, che si dice abbia migliorato la vita in tale area in modo omogeneo, soprattutto dopo la guerra del 2006. Questo studio si basa...
Article
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http://www.unive.it/media/allegato/dep/n25-2014/RECENSIONI/12_Carpi.pdf
Article
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https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/estella-carpi/syria-when-representational-violence-is-as-ruthless-as-political-violen
Article
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With the present paper I would like to explore the modalities through which contemporary Lebanon's linguistic variants are used, deliberately manipulated or unconsciously modified by their speakers, in a bid to express multifaceted cultural, political or merely individual egos.
Article
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https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/estella-carpi/alliance-of-media-and-humanitarianism-in-lebanon
Article
http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/syrian-moral-hierarchies/
Article
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https://www.opendemocracy.net/opensecurity/estella-carpi/islamic-resistance-in-southern-suburbs-of-beirut
Conference Paper
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This research is mainly aimed to enlarge knowledge on the everyday life of people living in the southern suburbs of Beirut, stricken by the 33 days war that Israel sparked with Hezbollah in 2006. Specifically, this research has the purpose of delving into the contrasting ways local residents of Beirut’s southern suburbs are viewed and targeted –...
Article
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https://www.opendemocracy.net/estella-carpi/confessionalization-fundamentalism-commodifying-religious-identities-in-middle-east
Article
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Es t E l l a Ca r p i «Hi, k i f e k , ç a v a ?» Un'a v v E n t U r a E t n o p r a g m a t i C a n E l li b a n o C o n t E m p o r a n E o «io credo che, per il solo fatto di essere vivi, noi abbiamo una re­ sponsabilità… sento che è mia responsabilità usare la voce… Come scrittrice sento la responsabilità di generare e far crescere consapevolez...

Questions

Questions (3)
Question
I wonder what sociologists have particularly focused on the making of social groups and what theories/debates I should engage with to strengthen my work. Thank you.
Question
I'm particularly interested in exploring how (usually informal) governmental strategies hamper out-group acts of assistance provision to prevent social/political mobilisation and social cohesion within multi-"ethnic" societies (a potential threat to political regimes). As a result, in these contexts, assistance and support emerge as a primarily in-group phenomenon (by group I mean demographic segments that have the same nationality). Most of the literature, especially the one on the Middle East, focus on service/aid provision and the creation of political constituencies, which is a slightly different matter. Thanks for your help.
Question
I would like to get bibliographic suggestions on "dignity" in religion, politics, ethics, everyday life. Thanks.