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Accepted Paper:

Syrian Solidarity in Lebanon: from Revolution to a Political Economy of Care in times of War and Displacement  
Veronica Ferreri (Ca' Foscari University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the formation of Syrian networks of solidarity in response to the 'Syrian humanitarian crisis' in Lebanon and the challenges of everyday displacement. Mutuality, as the grounding principle of this political economy of care, offers new insights to rethink war displacement.

Paper long abstract:

In the wake of the Syrian uprising in 2011, Syrian dissidents displaced in Lebanon created different networks of solidarity in support of the Syrian political struggle against the regime. Throughout the years, these networks dissipated in light of the mutations of the conflict in Syria and the Lebanese state’s crackdown on Syrian rebels’ paramilitary activities and revolutionary activism. However, these networks also gave birth to new instances of solidarity and commoning amongst Syrians newly displaced in Lebanon following the escalation of violence inside Syria (2013-2016). These social (and political) relations set in motion a political economy of care in the immediate aftermath of the ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Lebanon working alongside transnational humanitarian actors. This Syrian humanitarian endeavour was a form of material solidarity offered to Syrians forged by a sense of obligations based on a shared predicament rather than on Syrians being purely beneficiaries. This political economy of care became the the ground upon which other forms of commoning emerged. These collectivities aimed to alleviate the hardships faced by Syrians in their everyday life in Lebanon such as accessing education, work, health assistance and official papers.

By dissecting these new social and political relationships of solidarity and their metamorphosis, this paper revisits war displacement through the concept of mutuality. Through this lens, it captures the formation of new forms of belonging and commoning distant from a conventional understanding of war displacement based on the concept of hospitality.

Panel P047a
Emergent collectivities and practices of commoning in and after conflict
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -