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New MECW Project on Frictional Homebuilding: Swedish Civil Society Actors in the Occupied Palestinian Territories 1967-

A photo of the city of Ramallah on top of a hill.
The city of Ramallah in the Occupied West Bank (Photo: Nour Tayeh/Unsplash)

CMES is happy to announce the new MECW project for 2024-2027 which will focus on civil society actors in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

This project explores the complex history of Swedish humanitarian initiatives in the occupied Palestinian territories through the concept of frictional humanitarian homebuilding. Addressing three research questions, it studies the complex interactions between civil society actors and various stakeholders, shedding light on the frictions and power dynamics shaping Swedish aid over time from 1967 until today. First, it examines evolving normative imperatives guiding Swedish-funded initiatives amidst enduring military occupation. Second, it analyses how discourses and practices within these initiatives reflect and generate friction. Last, it investigates the multifaceted relations shaping Swedish humanitarian homebuilding, including interactions between CSAs, Swedish aid agencies, Palestinian local organizations, UN bodies, and Israeli authorities. Through a study of four organizations from 1967 to the present—Individuell Människohjälp, Palestinagrupperna, Kvinna till Kvinna, and Ekumeniska Följeslagarprogrammet—the project innovatively combines humanitarian history with political, digital and ethnographic approaches. 

Research Team

Maria Småberg, Department of History

Nina Gren, Department of Social Anthropology

Lisa Strömbom, Department of Political Science

Elsa Hedling, Centre for Languages and Literature