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Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Kristina Tschunkert

Thesis title

The Everyday Lived Experience of Peace and Conflict: Analysing the Social Impact of Humanitarian Aid in Host-Refugee Relations in West Bekaa, Lebanon (working title)

Research

In historical crises, such as the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, humanitarian aid allegedly exacerbated conflict rather than mitigating it and supporting conflict resolution. This is a phenomenon in search for an explanation.

My research explores this claim and examines the social impact of aid at the very grassroots level in situations where transient (refugee) communities share or compete for the same spaces and resources as settled (host) communities.

Primary research in West Bekaa, Lebanon will shed light on the everyday lived experience of individuals and groups in navigating life and negotiating access to quality education as a resource in a deeply divided society. Drawing on concepts of agency and power as well as competition and cooperation, I am investigating how access to a public good (education) influences and shapes people's relation with each other and how people use their agency to avoid open conflict.

Focusing on the 'everyday', my research blurs the lines between peace and conflict and aims to merge two disciplines that have not traditionally spoken directly to each other; peacebuilding and anthropology. Using anthropological methods, including a more innovative approach in the form of community mapping exercises, I aim to transgress the boundaries of categorisation and instead explore the syncretic interchange and fluidity between and within social categories as well as the liminal space between chronic and short-term situations that Syrian refugees find themselves in.

Supervisors

  • Roger Mac Ginty (Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute – Peace and Conflict Studies)
  • Tim Jacoby (Global Development Institute)

Research interests

Social Impact of Aid; Local Peacebuilding; Refugee Studies; Human Agency; the Everyday; Intra and Inter-group Relations; Political Economy of Peace and Conflict

Teaching Experience

I am interested in teaching classes related to Peace and Conflict Studies. Courses I have taught so far include:

  • PGCert Community Approaches to Health (University of Manchester – HCRI)
  • PGDip Disaster and Crisis Management (University of Manchester – HCRI)

Previous education

  • Master of Arts in International Social Development, School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK