RESEARCH

My current research examines organizational behavior and social change during and following war. Focusing on the Middle East and North Africa, I use ethnographic methods and social network theory to study how actors such as militant organizations, political parties, and humanitarian groups cope with crisis, disruption, and fragmentation. I am broadly interested in civil war and political violence, organizational politics, forced migration, the politics of disaster, humanitarianism, and qualitative research methods. You can read more about my projects below.

PROJECTS

 Poster at a Palestine Liberation Organization cultural event in the Biq'a Valley.

Poster at a Palestine Liberation Organization cultural event in the Biq'a Valley.

Militant OrganizationS' Adaptation and resilience

Based on two years of ethnographic, interview-based, and archival research among Palestinian militant groups in Lebanon, my research explores how these groups evolve during and following conflict. Focusing on the question of organizational emergence--e.g., why some groups successfully develop sub-divisions such as smuggling apparatuses and institutions such as inter-group alliances--this work also applies relational approaches to better understand processes of mobilization, recruitment, socialization, polarization, and disciplinary breakdown. I am particularly interested in examining how regionalized patterns of violence influence multiple network dynamics and in tracing the long term social changes that result.

This project has received generous funding from the Palestinian American Research Center, the Social Science Research Council, and the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

 Water and sanitation facilities provided by an aid group for internally displaced persons in a village north of Mosul

Water and sanitation facilities provided by an aid group for internally displaced persons in a village north of Mosul

the politics of disaster

Since 2012, I have been studying the politics of forced migration and humanitarian aid provision in the Levant, with a focus on Lebanon and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Specifically, my work centers on the unexpected political consequences of refugees' and internally displaced persons' interactions with humanitarian bureaucracies, local governments, and pre-existing migrant populations.

A POMEPS Travel-Research-Engagement grant funded my 2014 fieldwork on the politics of Syrian refugees' access to social services in Lebanon. From 2017-2018, an Exploration of Practical Ethics Grant awarded through JHU's Berman Institute of Bioethics will support my fieldwork on the emergence of ethical communities of practice in and adjacent to war zones.

 Makeshift stretcher

Makeshift stretcher

research methods, ethics, and preparedness

Working in and adjacent to conflict zones requires an ethical sensibility and practical know-how. I have written several pieces on the challenges and responsibilities involved with conducting research in these environments.

 

Dr. Milli Lake (LSE) and I founded the Academic Research on Conflict and Contention (ARCC) Workshop, which was held June 4-9, 2018 in West Sussex and London, UK. The curriculum focuses on preparing scholars for the intellectual, ethical, physical, and psychological demands of research in violent and violence-adjacent settings. We look forward to announcing dates for the 2019 program soon.