Epistemics of Aid: Toward a Liminal Critique of Resilience in the Syrian Crisis

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Humanitarian actors since the Syrian crisis have acknowledged that traditional emergency relief cannot meet the growing challenges of mass displacement. This article traces the political contradictions of the Resilience Agenda, a novel approach to humanitarian aid which claims to offer an integrated developmental solution to the needs of both Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities in Jordan and Lebanon. The article shows how resilience draws aid organizations into paradoxical relationships of cooperation and conflict with the very asylum states that undermine Syrian resilience, intensifying the structural clash between the rights of refugees and citizens as mutually exclusive categories of political concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-315
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • comparative ethnography
  • development
  • forced migration
  • humanitarianism
  • Middle East
  • NGOs
  • refugees
  • resilience
  • sovereignty
  • United Nations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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