The Asfari Institute is pleased to affiliate researchers undertaking studies relevant to its thematic concerns of civil society and citizenship. Affiliation to the Asfari Institute ensures support for academics, researchers and community activists through access to AUB facilities and resources, and through interacting with a mutually supportive community of scholars who may inspire one another. Affiliates may be called upon to make presentations on their research to the AUB and wider communities, and would participate in the Institute’s activities. Affiliation to the Asfari Institute may take any one of the following forms:
Faculty Affiliation: for university faculty members in Lebanon and internationally who may request or be invited to join the Asfari Institute.
Visiting Fellowships Available: for the academic year 2016-2017 For researchers, practitioners and community activists. Visiting Fellowships are for a specific period of time designed to facilitate the researcher’s completion of a discrete research project relevant to the areas of interest of the Asfari Institute. A request for stipend support may be considered depending on need and on availability of funds.
Visiting Fellowships Awardees
1. Dr. Karim Eid-Sabbagh, Citizenship and rights to natural resources in relationship to processes of rural development
Dr. Eid-Sabbagh’s fellowship research project is concerned with questions of citizenship and natural resource rights in the context of rural development. Investigating a development project implemented by UNDP with the involvement of a Lebanese Civil Society Organisation, his study attempts to understand how the different actors, development experts, civil society activists, and farmers/peasants understand citizenship and how these notions are reflected in their respective practices. The development project under investigation is the pilot project to the South Lebanon Irrigation Project and focuses on UNDPs area of intervention around Marjayoun. Research will be of anthropological and ethnographic nature aiming to understand farmer practices and interaction with development agencies. Expert interviews and interviews with civil society members will form a parallel research schedule. The research is planned for five months, from the beginning of October 2015 until the end of January 2016.
2. Dr. Sbeih Sbeih, ‘Professionalization’ of Non-Governmental Organizations in Palestine
Dr. Sbeih will devote his fellowship to publishing his doctoral dissertation, entitled ‘The “Professionalization” of Non-Governmental Organizations in Palestine: Between the Pressure of Donors and the Logic of Engagement.’ The dissertation focused on the transformation in the logic of engagement and commitment inside NGOs by analyzing the dynamics of volunteerism in the context of the professionalization process dominated by a tendency towards paidwork. It is unique in a number of ways: by taking several factors into account- namely the relationship with political parties, relationship of political parties to the national project, local and global conditions; and by its sociological angle; and by its linked analysis of funding mechanisms to the historical evaluation of NGOs. The fellowship is planned for 6 months, from March 15, 2016 until September 15, 2016.
3. Daniel Drennan, Adoption in the Lebanese Context: Practices of Extirpation and Their Impact on Kinship, Community, Citizenship, and Identity The primary focus of his research will be an exploration of concepts of citizenship and political embodiment as concerns children displaced, dispossessed, and disinherited by adoption practice. Further focus will be brought to bear on their families and communities, often from marginalized strata of society. The framework for this research will stem from economic, political, and anthropological notions of class relationships locally, regionally, and globally speaking. Also to be explored will be the validity/invalidity of citizenship ascribed to adoptees both in their place of birth as well as their nation-state of acculturation. This is reflective of historical derivations as well as current manifestations of extirpative adoption practices. The project will propose active avenues of theoretical engagement, community dialogue, as well as praxis. These will hopefully serve as guidelines for egalitarian political embodiment, family protection, and alternative child care, and will also be applicable to others similarly disembodied within society.The fellowship is planned for 6 months, from January 02, 2016 until June 30, 2016.